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
Today, an important new phase begins in the seemingly endless debates over U.S. health care. For the first time in many years, a committee of the U.S. Congress – the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, aptly termed the “HELP” Committee—is holding open hearings in a bipartisan quest to find practical solutions that improve Americans’ access to affordable, quality health coverage and care.
Learn about the financial assistance the Affordable Care Act provides to protect low-income consumers from spending too much on copayments, deductibles, and other health care expenses.
Known as “cost-sharing reductions,” this assistance is essential to whether people can afford to get health care.
We know how the House Republican bill could affect people who get insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace and Medicaid. But what has been overlooked is how the bill, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), could affect the coverage people get through their jobs. In other words: The Republican bill could make everybody’s coverage worse.
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.
A work requirement in Medicaid is not only a bad idea, it’s unnecessary and counterproductive.
The American Health Care Act would strip affordable coverage from working people, leaving millions uninsured and millions more facing drastically higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. It would return us to a time when only the wealthy were able to afford comprehensive coverage.
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.
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?