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Medical costs causing financial distress

Whether or not there is a recession or a vibrant, healthy economy, individual consumers can still be left struggling with bills and looking for debt elimination options. In Oregon and around the country, people are still unable to work and many face large medical expenses that are difficult to pay in full. These may be hospital bills, therapy costs or more. No matter the reason for the expenses, the challenge of paying them is all too real for some residents.

A recent news article outlined that medical expenses are causing problems for a large number of Americans these days. Part of the problem is the complexity of many bills and even the lag time between receiving services or treatment and getting a final bill. Even the most educated people can be left confused by these bills and must spend a large amount of time trying to understand what is due to whom and by when.

According to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, approximately 20 percent of Americans have had negative effects on their credit reports because of medical bills. Additionally, it is estimated that 50 percent of all debts sent to collection agencies are for medical costs. The unmanageable debt that can amass from operations, visits to doctors, medications and treatments can prevent patients from obtaining the credit they need at other times.

Anyone who is struggling to understand and pay out-of-pocket medical bills may wish to talk to an attorney. The right professional may be able to provide options for debt relief that can help get life back on track.

Source: The New York Times, “When Health Costs Harm Your Credit,” Elisabeth Rosenthal, March 8, 2014

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