Medical debt is something most Americans are familiar with in one way or another. Whether it's the shocking cost of nursing homes or a bill from an emergency room visit, the cost of medical care can be astronomical.
Medical debt is not always easy to deal with. Even though many people carry insurance, there's still a large amount of debt to pay out-of-pocket. Sometimes, insurance carriers don't cover certain medications or treatments, so you'll end up paying for everything yourself.
Why is medical debt such a big problem in America?
Americans struggle with medical debt because of the current system. While people might understand their insurance benefits, they may still end up with unexpected bills. For example, there are in-network and out-of-network medical providers. If you have an in-network surgeon perform a surgery but an out-of-network assistant is added to the surgery, you could end up with a bill for the out-of-network assistant, even though you chose an in-network surgeon. That's a risk that everyone takes when they go through surgeries or other procedures.
Around 40 percent of Americans owe money to collectors for times they were sick or hospitalized. Adults in the United States are also more likely to struggle to pay these debts. As a result, their credit scores drop, and they're left in a difficult position with heavy debt holding them back.
The good news is that there are ways out of debt, like negotiating to resolve the medical expenses or going through bankruptcy. Anyone struggling should look into the legal options, because they could help resolve the expenses weighing them down.