Medical debt is a burden for many Oregonians. In fact, past due medical bills are a leading cause of bankruptcy.
The research on the cost of healthcare is startling. Nearly all patients surveyed reported being more concerned about the bill upfront than the procedure. Healthcare insurance premiums jumped again further making affording healthcare more expensive.
Oregon legislators sought to help this situation during the March 22 session. The w would require the state’s 58 non-profit hospitals to fully cover services for families living below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. Families earning up to 600 percent over the federal poverty line would be eligible for discounts based on their household income.
Managing medical debt
There are ways to handle your medical debt if you’re already struggling. Here are some steps you can take:
- Arrange a payment plan with your healthcare provider so you can avoid your debt sent to collections and potentially having a negative mark on your credit report.
- You may qualify for Medicaid if you’re an Oregon resident in a low-income household. Medicaid may help cover recent medical bills, which could greatly help alleviate your burden.
- Look over your bill to make sure you understand the charges. You may find a charge for something that insurance should cover or another mistake.
What you shouldn’t do is take out credit cards to pay your medical expenses. Credit card interest rates may worsen your debt problem and prolong paying them out. The best thing you can do to manage your medical debt is to face the problem head on and communicate with your healthcare provider to discuss a manageable repayment plan. Don’t ignore the problem and hope it will go away.
Medical debt costs everyone
Medical debt has become a problem for Oregonians and Americans everywhere. The Oregon legislature has made attempts to help people just like you manage their medical expenses, but there are steps you can take to help your debt now. You don’t have to live with the burden of medical debt.