When many people in Kentucky think about large medical bills, they may first consider older Americans. However, a growing number of millennials are beset with significant medical bills that they find difficult to repay. Serious illnesses and injuries can leave people facing large amounts of debt, especially if they are uninsured or carry high-deductible policies that they never expected to rely upon. If young people aren’t able to pay back the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt that they have accumulated, they could face collection calls, judgments and a severely worsened credit score.
In fact, younger adults actually receive a higher level of medical collections than older people. The highest percentage of medical debt that went to collections belonged to people age 27: 11.3 percent. That level remained relatively steady until the mid-40s, when it began to decline. Because many people in their 20s do not expect to face serious illnesses, they may be more likely to be uninsured, especially if they already are struggling to make ends meet. Almost 20 percent of people in their late 20s and early 30s are uninsured, and this group of people has lower income than other demographics. However, people may face severe problems even with smaller amounts of medical debt incurred as part of an insurance deductible.
In some cases, people can reduce the amount that they owe to a health care provider by attempting to negotiate the debt. In other cases, people can work out a payment plan with the hospital or doctor’s office.
For others, however, it may not be possible to find their way out of medical debt through this kind of plan, especially if their illness forces them out of a job. A bankruptcy attorney might advise people about their options to find relief for insurmountable debt.