Medical Debt Crushing to Many in the United States
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ May 13, 2016
While the number of people who have health insurance in the United States is at a higher rate than ever before—the number of uninsured Americans is down by about 15 million—due to the Affordable Care Act, medical debt is still a big problem, even for the insured. In fact, a new poll conducted by The New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that of those people under age 65 with health insurance, about 20 percent have experienced difficulties paying their medical bills over the past year. For those without health insurance, that number rises to about 53 percent.
Medical Debt Crippling for Many
According to the poll cited above, of those who have struggled to pay their medical debts, 42 percent reported taking on more work hours/picking up a second job, 14 percent said they had to change their living situation (move in with or take on roommates), and 63 percent reported using up the totality of their savings. (As a note, the study looked at people under the age of 65. Those over age 65 may have more of a medical safety net due to Medicare).
But in addition to rendering many people financially destitute, medical debt is also concerning because it prevents people from seeking the care that they most need. This includes scheduling doctors’ visits, undergoing surgeries, and filling prescriptions. You have the right to medical treatment even if you cannot pay for it when sought from a public hospital – the hospital cannot deny you emergency care due to your inability to pay.
If You Have Been Injured, a Personal Injury Claim Can Help
Some people who incur large amount of medical debt are those who have been the victims of serious personal injuries that wreak havoc on their lives, financially and otherwise. While filing a personal injury claim is not appropriate in all circumstances, if you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, a personal injury claim may yield the compensation that you need to pay off your medical bills and improve your quality of life.
When you have been injured, you do not deserve to be crippled financially by medical bills. Instead, you deserve access to the best health care possible without worrying about how you are going to be able to afford it. When a wrongful act of another has caused your injuries, taking legal action can be the best thing for you and for your family.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
Debt from medical care is one of the worst kind of debts that there is, and is often unavoidable, especially when your health conditions are serious or life threatening. If you have incurred medical bills because of harm caused to you by another’s actions, contact the Pennsylvania and New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. today. We will work with you to file a claim against the at-fault party to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Schedule your free case consultation by calling (215) 567-3500.