Explains why medical debt is different from other kinds of debt, who medical debt affects, and the consequences of medical debt.
Examines four kinds of protections states have put in place that are designed to protect low-income, uninsured, or underinsured Americans from medical debt
Last month, Kentucky asked the federal government for approval to make significant and troubling changes to its highly successful Medicaid expansion program. To justify its request, the state asserted that these changes would help “break the cycle of poverty.” However, the results would likely be the opposite.
The fact is, by providing health insurance and helping people in the program avoid medical debt, Medicaid coverage can actually improve the financial health of its enrollees. Two recent reports, one in April and one in June, offer new evidence supporting that link.
We recently reported our findings on the potential problems posed by health insurance plans with high deductibles. Proponents of high-deductible plans assert that making consumers spend more to cover their medical care will encourage them to seek high-value care. But that isn’t possible for many consumers because they don’t have the tools or the basic understanding of how their health insurance works—both of which are necessary to make informed decisions about what care to get at what price.
Basic Health Programs are a promising option for states to provide affordable health coverage to low-income residents. This month, Minnesota will be the first state to submit its Basic Health blueprint to the federal government for approval. This week we launched a blog series to help states consider whether they should also pursue Basic Health. The first blog explained many of the reasons to establish Basic Health Programs. Today’s blog describes the major features of Minnesota’s proposed Basic Health program. The third and final blog will offer advocacy tips for promoting BHP or similar programs in your state.
It only took one night for my financial standing to turn upside down. As a recent college graduate and soon-to-be graduate student, money is scarce and I worry about every dollar I spend. During college, I was fortunate to have two full-ride scholarships and my father's health insurance. After graduation, I moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue my passion and fight for health equity in the United States. I knew that I would be living paycheck to paycheck, but I had saved a couple thousand dollars from a previous job as a safety net and to relocate for graduate school in the fall.
As a young adult just entering the workforce I'm lucky that my father's job offered health insurance, and that he was smart enough to take advantage of it and protect himself and his family. If not, I would be paying off medical debt for the majority of my lifetime. He made sure that our family was covered at all times, even during times of change, because a costly emergency could happen at any moment.
Due to high health care costs and tight budgets, many uninsured and underinsured Americans have turned to health care-specific credit cards to finance their medical treatments. Health care credit cards with “promotional financing” are advertised as economical ways to pay for services that may not be covered by your health insurance, such as vision, hearing, cosmetic, and dentistry services. With health care credit cards, you can even pay for your pet’s medical needs. So you may be wondering: What’s the problem with that?
Medicaid covers millions of Americans. It makes sure children can see their doctors, seniors and people with disabilities can get long-term care services, and Americans with serious health conditions can get the care they need. For many, Medicaid coverage is the difference between life and death.
Last week, the Heritage Foundation published an article claiming that studies show that Medicaid patients have worse access and outcomes than the privately insured.