Many people who have been affected by the economic downturn over the last couple of years find themselves unable to pay bills. Even those who have not lost their jobs may be in a financially difficult situation because of medical debt. This debt often occurs during an emergency or unexpected hospital visit.
Just one visit can cost thousands of dollars. Even with insurance, people may still be stuck with a bill they can't afford. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 percent of Americans have medical debt, and half of those people aren't able to pay the debt at all.
This debt can often cause families to panic and start relying on credit cards to pay for other expenses. The use of high interest credit might further add to their debt situation. That's why it's important for families who have an unforeseen medical expense to try to predict the financial implications or seek out help early.
For families who are struggling to pay medical debt, it might be wise to speak with a bankruptcy attorney. They can help determine the best way to prevent creditors from getting unmanageable or having legal action taken against the person who owes money.
Sometimes asking for help can be difficult. Many times medical debt is incurred through unpreventable situations and families shouldn't feel ashamed seeking out advice. As this new report by the CDC shows, the problem of medical debt is not isolate. Many Americans need help paying for or managing their debt, especially since the economic downturn.