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Rising healthcare costs and the burden of medical debts

The costs associated with serious ailments are continuing to rise in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, Americans spend more on healthcare per capita than any other nation in the word. Not content to stay at 10 times the global average, the amount continues to grow.

U.S. government figures show an increase of 5.8 percent in 2015 for a total of $3.2 trillion, representing 17.8 percent of the economy. That number accounts for close to $10,000 per person.

Increased costs lead to increase debts by individual consumers, even with health insurance coverage. Recovering from an illness costs time and money. For many, work stops while expenses grow.

The ends no longer meet.

Findings from “U.S. Spending on Personal Health Care and Public Health, 1996-2013,” revealed more specific, yet alarming statistics:

  • Healthcare spending increased between three and four percent annually between 1996 and 2013
  • Personal health spending increased for the 143 of 155 conditions between 1996 and 2013; money spent on individual care totaled $2.1 trillion in 2013
  • Pharmaceutical spending rose 5.6 percent annually, outpacing inflation (four percent) between 1996 and 2013
  • Diabetes is the costliest illness with spending at approximately $101.4 billion
  • Heart disease was second at $88.1 billion
  • Low back and neck pain came in third with $87.6 billion
  • Fastest increases in spending between 1996 and 2013 were autistic spectrum disorders (17.6 percent), Vitamin A deficiency (14.7 percent), high cholesterol (10.3 percent) and obesity (9.9 percent)
  • HIV/Aids ($3.5 billion), lower respiratory tract infections ($1.8 billion), and diarrheal diseases ($0.9 billion) were the top three conditions that received the most federal health spending
  • Colon and rectal were the most expenses in the cancer category at $18.5 billion between 1996 and 2013

Living with the stress that comes with overdue and delinquent medical bills does not help when you are trying to recover. Securing the help of a bankruptcy attorney could be an option to explore to lose the burden of debts and gain peace of mind.

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