Medical debt can be a significant financial burden for many families, and it is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 1 in 4 Americans struggle to pay their medical bills, with over 40% of those with health insurance reporting difficulty in affording their deductibles, copays, and other out-of-pocket costs.
The problem with medical debt is that it can be unpredictable and can occur when we least expect it. Even those with health insurance can be caught off guard with unexpected medical bills, which can quickly add up and put a strain on their finances.
Steps you can take to reduce medical debt
- Review your health insurance coverage: Many people do not fully understand their insurance policies and may not be aware of all the benefits that they are entitled to. It is important to understand the scope of your coverage, including deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums. By understanding these terms, you can make informed decisions about your healthcare and avoid surprise bills.
- Negotiate your bill with the healthcare provider: You may be able to negotiate a lower bill or set up a payment plan that is more manageable for your budget. Many hospitals and clinics offer financial assistance programs or charity care for low-income families, which can help to reduce the cost of medical care.
- Consolidate your medical debt: Look to combine your medical bills into a single loan with a lower interest rate. This can help to reduce your monthly payments and make it easier to manage your debt.
- Another option is to work with a credit counseling agency or debt settlement company to negotiate with your creditors and develop a repayment plan that fits your budget.
In summary, medical debt is a major problem for many families in the US. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your debt and avoid the negative consequences.
Iryss is here to help
At Iryss, we are working to help improve your ability to be a responsible healthcare consumer. In the near-future, we will launch our healthcare bill review product. This proprietary technology identifies savings opportunities and intelligently describes how you can efficiently pay the bill while preserving wealth. You can learn more about our plans by visiting our website.