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What leads to medical debt?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2020 | bankruptcy

It is no secret that medical care is expensive, and the costs continue to go up. There is no relief in sight. Even insurance is not enough these days to cover all the expenses if you suffer a serious injury or illness. If you have a chronic condition, you can expect to pay a lot out of pocket for medical care each year despite any type of insurance coverage you may have.

A surprise medical incident can be a huge financial setback for even the most budget-conscious person. CNBC explains that medical debt poses a serious issue for many people, and it is not just something that affects those who already have financial hardship.

Inadequate insurance coverage

One of the biggest reasons why medical debt is such an issue is that insurance policies do not offer effective coverage. For the average person, an affordable policy means that there are high deductibles to reach before the insurance will pay even a penny. If you are lucky, you may have a policy that provides affordable premiums and a reasonable deductible, but even in such cases, the policy often has a cap on how much the insurer will pay total for your medical care. This cap is often not enough to allow for full coverage, especially if you have a chronic or serious condition, such as diabetes or cancer. So, you have to pay out of pocket.

Paying other ways

What lands people in serious debt is that they will often use savings and retirement to pay for medical expenses to avoid going into debt. However, they soon run out of this money, leaving them vulnerable if they have other emergency expenses. Plus, in many cases, even dipping into savings and retirement is not enough to cover the full amount of medical debt.