Medical bills are among the top reasons why people file bankruptcy. The Medical industry is rife with complaints about how charges are calculated and it has little transparency in how much each procedure will cost. Many Americans have no idea how much each visit to the doctor will ultimately cost and even less of an idea about how much a procedure or hospital stay will set them back. This is especially true of people who do not have medical insurance. The nature of Medical care is that it’s something that often times can’t be put off, especially in emergency situations. With the average cost of an ambulance ride nearing $1,000 and the cost of an air ambulance being $50,000 or more, just getting to a hospital in an emergency situation can bankrupt even the most well off citizens. The choice to seek medical care stresses many Americans, including those with health insurance.
CBS News reports that nearly 25 percent of adults in the U. S. have an unpaid balance on a medical bill. Numerous factors may be involved in why this is the case and who the most indebted people are. Many imagine that the elderly are the group most likely to have unpaid medical bills but it’s actually people between the ages of 20 and 50 that hold that distinction.
A recent study found that geography plays a role in who often incurs debt for medical care which they can’t afford. The Atlantic states that people who live in The South are more likely to find themselves with medical debt. In fact, of the top 10 states with the highest rates of medical debt, eight are Southern States. Some reasons may include an overall higher need for medical care as many people in the South lead less healthy lifestyles which often requires more medical attention. Many of the states also did not expand Medicare coverage under the ACA.
Georgia is one of those states in the top 10, coming in squarely at number 10. 37 percent of people in Mississippi have unpaid medical bills while just under 30 percent of Georgians have unpaid medical bills.
Unpaid Medical bills can put a larger strain on the budgets of people who are already finding it hard to make ends meet. Many doctors and hospitals routinely turn those bills over to unscrupulous and predatory debt collection agencies who constantly harass people, including at work, with threatening phone calls and nasty letters. Some debt collection agencies report negatively on your credit while others go so far as to sue you and garnish your wages.
If you find yourself being harassed, sued or garnished by debt collectors over unaffordable medical bills call the attorneys at Harmon and Gorove and allow us to schedule a free consultation so we can develop a plan to help relieve you of the stress that these unpaid medical bills cause. We can help you get started on the path to financial freedom today!