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Medical Debt is a Big Problem for Many Ohioans
Seventy-nine million Americans face overwhelming medical debt. According to The Commonwealth Fund, approximately 41% of people in Ohio and throughout the United States have trouble paying off medical debt.
Anyone Can Have Medical Debt Issues
People of all ages and in nearly every income bracket face problems with medical debt:
- 53% of low-income people ages 19 to 64
- 56% of moderate-income people ages 19 to 64
- 39% of middle-income people ages 19 to 64
- 25% of high-income people ages 19 to 64
Causes of Medical Debt
You might think that health insurance or Medicaid could prevent medical debt. However, too many cracks in the healthcare system and out-of-pocket expenses make medical debt inevitable.
- Many low-income people are on Medicaid or a similar government-funded medical program with copays, deductibles, or out-of-network costs that are impossible on their wages.
- Some low-income people and moderate-income individuals don’t qualify for Medicaid. Still, they cannot afford monthly health insurance premiums that can be $1,000 or more.
- Many middle-income and high-wage earners can obtain medical insurance. However, they could still pay thousands of dollars in copays, deductibles, out-of-network costs, and other expenses not covered by private insurance.
Emergencies and COVID-19
Thousands of Ohioans racked up massive medical debt during the COVID pandemic. Even with the help of state and federal COVID aid, too many people face financial ruin because of steep hospital bills, specialists, and long-term care needs.
How to Manage Medical Debt
You have many options to get control of your medical debt. Some of those options include:
- Filing bankruptcy and eliminating all medical debt
- Establishing payment plans through the medical providers
- Seeking financial assistance through medical providers
- Seeking financial aid through government programs and nonprofits
- Negotiating your medical debt to a lower amount through the medical provider
Watch Out for Shady Relief Companies
Depending on your specific solution, a combination of these methods is the ideal solution. It should be noted that many shady relief companies push a product or bankruptcy to eliminate your debt. Although bankruptcy is one option for some people, it’s essential to watch out for these companies and seek professional guidance from a debt relief lawyer instead.
Local Hospitals that Help
Some local hospitals and other medical providers offer patient financial assistance that can quickly eliminate most or all your debt.
Call a Medical Debt Management Attorney Today
When deciding what your next steps should be in dealing with your medical debt problems, Luftman, Heck & Associates is here for you. We handle bankruptcies and work with medical providers to find solutions to reduce, manage, or eliminate your debt.