For people who have recently seen the doctor, been sent to the emergency room or have had a medical procedure performed, the recovery process may entail more than just physical healing. It may take even longer for patients to heal financially from the medical expenses and debt accrued as a result of their medical treatment. In fact, a CNBC report announced that medical expenses were the number one cause for bankruptcies in the United States. Furthermore, it found that people who carry healthcare insurance were slightly more likely to declare bankruptcy than those who did not have medical insurance.
There are a few reasons why these medical expenses can become overwhelming and bury those who are responsible for paying them. Many people who carry insurance still have high deductibles, monthly premiums, copays and co-insurance expenses. For example, if a patient was to receive medical services for a broken arm, the patient may be held liable for most of that amount if the money is going toward a yearly deductible. In addition to paying toward the deductible, the insured must still pay a monthly premium to carry the insurance. Once the deductible is met, people may still owe a co-pay or be responsible for paying a portion of the expenses, depending on their plan.
Another problem is that the cost of medical care varies greatly throughout the United States. In some states, the health care costs are inflated. While one person may pay $800 for a broken arm in one state, another may pay $5,000 in another state for the same injury. All of these factors contribute to the surmounting medical debt and subsequent bankruptcies.