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The impact of medical debt on American workers

For many South Carolina residents, medical debt is a significant cause of financial stress. This is true despite the fact that more people around the country have some form of health insurance. A survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the New York Times found that 20 percent of working Americans with health insurance struggle to pay their medical bills. The number increased to over 50 percent for those who had no insurance.

Of those who responded, 13 percent said that they had spent roughly $10,000 in the last year on medical expenses. One quarter said that they had spent less than $1,000 while another 31 percent said that they had spent $5,000 or more in medical costs in the past year. Of those who had insurance, 31 percent chose to use college or retirement funds to pay these costs or used what was left of their savings.

This was compared to 17 percent of those without insurance who used the same funding sources to pay medical debts. There were two common causes for medical hardships among those who were insured. According to the survey, 26 percent of respondents had their claims denied unexpectedly while another 31 percent said that they had sought treatment from providers deemed to be out of network.

Those who suffer an unexpected medical condition or can't work because of an injury or illness may find it difficult to pay bills or meet their daily living expenses. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to speak with an attorney to see if filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy wold be an appropriate solution.

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