Medical Debt Among People With Health Insurance

  1. An estimated 1 in 3 Americans report having difficulty paying their medical bills – that is, they have had problems affording medical bills within the past year, or they are gradually paying past bills over time, or they have bills they can’t afford to pay at all.1 Medical debt – and a host of related problems – can result when people can’t afford to pay their medical bills. While the chances of falling into medical debt are greater for people who are uninsured, most people who experience difficulty paying medical bills have health insurance...

    The Burden of Medical Debt – Introduction – 8806 | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
    Last edit by herring_RN on Jan 6, '16 : Reason: fix link
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    6 Comments

  3. by   AJJKRN
    Dental is the hardest for me and my family because our insurance provides little coverage for procedures and caps at a very small amount compared to how much it costs to go to the dentist! Preventive is free but you get a couple of cavities or need an OMFS/Ortho or Endodontist and kiss your coverage goodbye!
  4. by   herring_RN
    Two more articles regarding the survey:
    National Nurses United policy director Michael Lighty stated in an interview with Common Dreams, "Continued medical bankruptcy is inevitable because people simply can't afford the out-of-pocket expenses that are inherent in the Affordable Care Act,".
    He said, "In that context, of course, the only solution is a system of guaranteed healthcare where we replace premiums with taxes and everyone has insurance and there's never any possibility of bankruptcy due to healthcare needs."

    Under such a system, Lighty said, "out-of-pocket costs are virtually non-existent, you don't have out-of-network costs because there's a single network, and you have the ability to control costs without shifting the cost to the individual. You can't do that under the current system. But you can do that under improved Medicare-for-All."

    The Trouble with For-Profit Healthcare: Even the Insured Face Mountains of Debt | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
  5. by   brandy1017
    Doesn't surprise me when deductibles and out of pockets are in the thousands each year! How is a family or someone with a chronic illness supposed to come up with so much money year after year! The pharmaceutical companies raise the cost of meds each year even generics, but people's wages don't even match inflation anymore! Will we ever have a fair national healthcare system like the rest of the civilized world has? Too much greed to do that it appears!
  6. by   Lissla
    My partner has really good insurance through his employer but was hit with a huge medical bill since his insurance wouldn't cover it. They were saying that since his care was not standard of practice and that it was only investigation (he's having some weird allergic reaction to something we still can't figure out and it results in warm red, painful patches in various places of his body) they weren't gonna pay for his care. Not only has his condition not been solved, he's afraid to get more treatment since they might not even cover that. It's horrible what companies do to avoid paying
  7. by   iluvivt
    You need to contest the bill.If the treatment they used for your partner was an off label use and your doctor can provide evidence that the treatment has been used then they usually will pay up.They don't want to get sued.Of course a lot of people do not bother protesting and the insurance company knows that so it's worth a chance. You fight it and force a review and ask the doctor to provide the justification.
  8. by   ohiobobcat
    This happened to me a few years ago, and I have since left the job that had this particular health insurance.

    The entity that owned the hospital where I worked decided to model it's rural healthcare system after another successful rural health care system in another state. We then jumped on-board this other rural healthcare system's health insurance. Which covered basically nothing. My daughter has severe allergies and chronic giant tonsils. We were referred to and ENT/Allergist. In-system- same hospital entity I was employed by- that appointment cost me $1500 out of pocket, which wiped out my yearly HSA in April of that year.

    Other daughter with severe eczema (she was in a wheelchair part of one summer) already established with a regional children's hospital dermatology clinic in another state. The new health insurance would not cover her appointments. Had to pay $300+ out of pocket every time we went (3-4 times per year- sometimes more if she was really flared). I'm still paying off those appointments years later.

    Unfortunately, the sucky health insurance was definitely a factor in my decision to leave that position. My health insurance now is more expensive per month, but I get a lot more coverage. And they just started a HSA here, which helps as well.

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