For many people, turning 65 is a time of peace and relaxation to enjoy retirement. However, often it is the start of complex changes as insurance switches to Medicare, which doesn’t always cover all medical expenses. This can cause thousands of dollars in unplanned medical bills or bills that are not covered.
Medical debt has reigned supreme as the number one financial burden that leads to bankruptcy filings. A 2016 study revealed that approximately 43 million or 20 percent of American adults faced challenges in covering healthcare costs, including those who have insurance coverage.
A sudden illness or injury is often the catalyst to file bankruptcy. As medical costs continue to rack up during recovery, savings shrink and credit cards max out. Second, third and fourth jobs are necessary to manage seemingly unmanageable bills.
Not all money problems that lead to bankruptcies are a result of financial irresponsibility. In far too many cases, unexpected setbacks like divorce or job loss create crisis. However, one catastrophe seems to create the most serious financial shortfalls.
Most debt is created by consumers buying goods and services up front. One swipe of a credit card is all it takes to make a purchase.
While millions of Americans are the subject of medical debt collection efforts, far too many consumers are aggressively and unfairly targeted. Others are victims of mistaken identity whose credit scores are placed at risk by these harmful acts.
While medical debts have declined, 25 percent of Americans under the age of 65 have unpaid medical bills according to the Urban Institute. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 27 percent actually postpone health care because of challenges in paying premiums and meeting deductibles. The number one call by a debt collector involves medical debts, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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.
Whether a family is having a hard time paying for an unexpected health condition or someone cannot pay their bills because of a recent job loss, there are many reasons why people struggle with medical debt. In Pittsburgh, PA, it is crucial for people in this position to explore all avenues and try to eliminate their debt.