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Health insurance changes leave patients with unmanageable debt

Having health insurance is no guarantee that you will not be left with unmanageable debt following a serious and unexpected medical condition. Folks in Allegheny County and across the United States are finding that health insurance companies have increased deductibles at a pace that is at least six times faster than the income people are earning.

A recent study shows that the average deductible is now up to $1,300 a year. Twenty percent of individuals have yearly deductibles that exceed $2,000. As more and more employers are eliminating health insurance as a benefit for their workers, people suddenly are faced with having to pay for their own coverage. 

The high insurance premiums are forcing many people to opt for higher deductibles. Higher deductibles usually mean lower premiums, but this could leave patients owing money for medical expenses and hospital bills that must be paid out of their own pockets.

An unexpected medical condition can leave you unable to work. The combination of higher deductibles and a reduction in your income can quickly result in unpaid bills for doctors and other health care providers that can overwhelm you. One proposed solution would require health insurance companies to provide up to three visits with doctors each year that would not be subject to a deductible. Another proposal would offer a tax credit to families as a way of offsetting their medical debt.

For the time being, a Pittsburgh bankruptcy law attorney might be a good source of legal advice and debt relief information and guidance. If you are struggling with medical bills and other debt, there might be solutions available to you.

Source: Yahoo Health, “Health Insurance Deductibles Are Going Up Faster Than Our Salaries,” Korin Miller, Sept. 24, 2015

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