Shortchanged by Medical Debt
In the face of rising health care costs, families across the country are paying higher and higher health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs, even as their coverage is being cut back. When they can’t afford to pay their entire medical bills, they often sink into medical debt. Medical debt is a growing problem not only for the uninsured, but also for people who have insurance, including low-income consumers and the middle class.
This fact sheet addresses the basics of medical debt, including:
Why Is Medical Debt Different from Other Kinds of Debt?
- It Strikes without Warning When People Are Most Vulnerable
Medical Debt Is a Problem for Almost Everyone
- The Uninsured
- Those Who Have Insurance but Who Are Underinsured
- Low-Income Families
- A Growing Problem for Middle-Class Families
The Consequences of Medical Debt
- Can Lead to Individuals Postpone or Forgo Care
- Leaves Families Unable to Pay Other Expenses
- Contributes to Credit Card Debt
- Causes Bankruptcy
- Undermines Housing Security