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Many people find affordable health care not so affordable

Often we’ve discussed the problem of insurmountable medical debt in this blog. Health care has become so problematic for people in Oregon as well as the rest of the country, that it’s been a hot topic for reform for many years. Even now after the Affordable Care Act, many people have been struggling to manage their medical debt.

Not only do many families have to deal with high insurance premiums, but some have policies that require them to pay steep deductibles out of pocket. Also, some insurance companies don’t cover certain medical procedures or tests, leaving patients to cover the full cost on their own. Countless additional families can’t even afford to pay for health care at all, despite subsidies and financial aid being available.

In fact, states USA Today, many people are unable to pay just $50 to $100 a month for medical insurance after they factor in their other bills and expenses. As a result, they are forced to pay the penalty for not having health insurance, as well as pay their hospital bills and other medical costs out of pocket if seeing a doctor becomes necessary.

Unmanageable debt can be stressful and overwhelming. has provided a few tips to reduce the chance of ending up with expensive medical bills:

  • Speak with a doctor if cost is an issue, and negotiate the price upfront before being seen.
  • Talk to hospital staff about payment programs for low income families; some hospitals will discount their prices for those without insurance.
  • Don’t make the potentially costly mistake of going to an out-of-network doctor or medical facility.
  • Understand the deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs in an insurance plan, as well as which procedures are not covered.

Also, it is rarely a good idea to pay off medical debt with a credit card. Usually hospitals and doctor’s offices don’t charge interest, unlike with credit cards.

Those who are suffering from overwhelming medical debt and other financial problems might find debt relief by speaking with a bankruptcy attorney.

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