Medical debt is the number one reason people go bankrupt in the United States. Seventy-nine million Americans, including seven million elderly people on Medicare, are either paying off medical bills or struggling with costs they can’t cover. Worse, this often triggers a cascading financial catastrophe, as unpaid bills move through a credit-damaging collections process. Absent a societal consensus on some form of national health insurance, fixes are needed to help people cope. Crowdsourcing platforms are stepping up to the plate, as are counselors navigating people through their tax deductions and negotiations with creditors. What strategies can help people avoid medical debt? How do they dig out once it happens?
- 2019 Health