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Study finds most collection calls relate to medical debts

Like most people in North Carolina, you likely have a few different kinds of debts. Mortgages, credit cards and student loans are just a few of the common debts that many people carry. However, if you have received a call from a collection agency, chances are it was related to a medical bill. At Wootton & Wootton, P.C., we understand that receiving a call from a bill collector can be stressful and disheartening.

Compared to other types of debt, medical debt is somewhat unique. Being covered by health insurance is no guarantee that you will not receive a large medical bill. Plans with high deductibles or services performed by out of network providers may result in bills in the thousands of dollars. If efforts by Republicans to repeal or remove parts of the Affordable Care Act are successful, the problem could grow as millions more become uninsured, points out NPR. In fact, it is projected that by 2026, as many as 32 million people could be without health insurance.

Because this is such a widespread problem, medical debt is the cause behind 59 percent of communications by debt collectors. In addition, to the stress of owing an outstanding balance, if your unpaid medical bill gets reported to a collector, your credit score could also be adversely affected. While medical bills accounted for the largest segment of collection calls, 28 percent of collection calls were related to outstanding utility bills and 37 percent were found to be for telecommunication bills.

For many people, medical bills may be the thing that pushes them toward filing for bankruptcy. For more information on ways to deal with doctor and hospital bills, please visit our web page.

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