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Stats show the major problems medical debt poses to Americans

One of the great contributors to a person falling into serious debt is the cost associated with medical care. It is very expensive nowadays to receive medical care, even if you have insurance. To that point, 78 percent of people who file for bankruptcy as a result of medical debt also have health insurance. Just because you are insured doesn't mean your medical care won't cost a hefty sum.

Medical costs are becoming more burdensome, and they are only becoming more costly. From 2003 to 2013, the out-of-pocket costs for health care rose 600 percent. That is a staggering figure, and when you couple it with the fact that wage increases are fairly stagnant, you can see why medical costs have become so disproportional to a person's ability to pay them.

There are a couple of statistics that illustrate this increasing disparity between a person's ability to pay off their medical debt and the rise of medical costs:

  • A minimum of 60 percent of people who file of bankruptcy say that medical debt and other medical costs are the reason for their filing.
  • About 43 percent of adults in the U.S. in 2012 said they skipped medical care or obtaining a prescription because of the cost. That's 80 million people who forgave medical care because of the prohibitive cost.

Medical debt is a very serious problem in this country right now, and for many people the only way out is bankruptcy. That doesn't mean you should rush out and file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 just because your medical debt is piling up. You need to consider all of your options first.

Source: Vitals Blog, "14 Facts You May Not Know About Medical Debt," Aug. 5, 2014

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