Many North Carolina residents are benefiting from rising income rates. While the national median household income has gone up over the last decade, by 30%, medical costs are rising too. Since the year 2009, they have gone up by 33%. Here are a few steps individuals can take to prevent credit card debt after a health scare or hospital visit.
Medical debt affects over 137 million Americans in North Carolina and across the country. Despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act, many people face expensive medical bills that they are unable to repay. According to one study, medical bills are the primary reason for people of any age to cash in their retirement savings or 401(k) plans or take even more serious action to address a financial crisis. Research indicates that two-thirds of all bankruptcy filings across the country are at least partially linked to significant amounts of medical debt.
Some people in North Carolina may be among the 30% of Americans who have at least $500 in medical debt. While medical debt can affect a person's credit score, it is treated differently from other kinds of debt. Medical providers do not report debt, but once it is in the hands of a collection agency, this can change. Even if the collection agency reports the debt, credit reporting agencies wait 180 days before they in turn report it to credit bureaus. FICO, the most common credit rating model, ignores balances that are less than $100.
The results of a study released recently by the Health Care Cost Institute suggests that about one in seven hospital patients receives a bill for out-of-network treatment despite obtaining their care at an in-service medical facility. The nonprofit health research group arrived at this figure after assessing almost 620,000 hospital admissions in 37 states. North Carolina was one of 15 states where between 10 and 15 percent of in-service patients were sent bills for out-of-network treatment.
North Carolina companies and others throughout the country routinely offer employees health care or other benefits. Today, it is becoming more common for employers to offer individuals ways to pay down their debts or avoid going into debt. For instance, TrueConnect offers emergency loans so that employees don't have to turn to payday lenders during a time of financial hardship. MedPut provides interest-free loans that are repaid through payroll deductions as well as helping to negotiate existing medical debts.
North Carolina residents may have various opinions when it comes to health insurance. Nonetheless, most individuals can agree that costs associated with medical care can become burdensome to deal with at times. When parties accrue considerable medical debt, they may feel that their ability to make ends meet is substantially hindered by these outstanding balances.
Needing medical attention is often unavoidable in certain situations. Unfortunately, many North Carolina residents may consider forgoing treatment due to the high costs of certain procedures. Often, individuals accrue considerable amounts of outstanding medical debt and find it difficult to address the balances effectively. As a result, their credit scores and other financial affairs may suffer.
Dealing with a medical issue in Durham can be extremely stressful. However, after receiving treatment, many people also end up with bills that they cannot afford to pay. That is why some groups are working to combat this growing issue, which affects millions of households across the country.
Health care is an expense that is extremely important and worrisome for many people in North Carolina. Medical emergencies can happen at any time and having insurance is no guarantee that you will not end up owing money after all is said and done. At Wootton & Wootton, P.C., we understand how stressful it is when you owe money that you cannot afford to pay.
Receiving a bill in the mail for a medical treatment you received can be a source of dread for many people in Durham. Medical costs can vary wildly and even those with insurance may end up with heft balances. At Wootton & Wootton, P.C. we know how stressful it can be to get stuck with a bill that you cannot afford to pay.