Medical debt is a serious issue in the US. All it takes is one serious health issue to put most people into debt with medical bills.
CNBC explains medical debt is often a leading reason for people to file for bankruptcy protection. You certainly are not alone if your medical bills are leading to financial troubles.
How many people?
An academic study showed 66.5% of bankruptcy filings were due to medical debt. That equates to about 530,000 people filing due to having out-of-control health care costs.
The next leading cause is foreclosures at around 45%. There is quite a difference there, showing medical debt is a serious problem.
Why is it a problem?
One of the main reasons medical bills land people in debt is because they are unavoidable. If you need healthcare, you have to get it. You cannot put it off. It is literally often a life-or-death situation. In addition, medical costs in the country are astronomically high, and many people do not have insurance or do not have coverage that prevents debt.
Even with legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act, medical debt issues are still out of control. The ACA did little to help reduce prices and bankruptcies related to the problem.
How can I avoid it?
Avoiding medical debt issues is difficult. The best thing you can do is to secure a health insurance plan that provides excellent coverage. It should have a low deductible and offer full coverage for potentially expensive services. You also want to ensure you understand your policy and use only covered providers.