Medical Debt Management

by JadeDragon

Increasing your income through an online business or freelancing is fantastic, but if your money is being poured into unmanaged debt, it is a losing proposition.  Taking control of your financial future involves controlling your expenses, reducing and eliminating your debt, and increasing your income through multiple streams.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2009, 50.7 million residents (16.7% of the population) including 9.9 million non-citizens  lacked health insurance.  The United States is the only industrialized country in the world without a publicly funded or mandated universal health care system, yet although over 50 million Americans are uninsured, the USA government and its related entities have the third highest public healthcare expenditure per capita in the world.

Including private insurance and private pay, the United States spends more money per person is spent on health care than in any other nation in the world. It is also paying the second  percentage of total income on health care.

Medical debt in the USA is a big problem. A 2001 study in five states found that medical debt contributed to 46.2% of all personal bankruptcies and in 2007, 62.1% of filers for bankruptcies claimed high medical expenses.  Since then, health costs and the numbers of uninsured and underinsured have increased. Clearly financial crisis and medical bills often go hand in hand.  Often job loss results in losing health insurance along with a stable income. Sickness comes, preventing finding work, and the medical bills pile up.

If you have medical debt and need help with medical bills, there are resources available to you.  NavDebt.org provides direction and information to assist you in understanding your rights and options regarding debt. The NaviDebt service is an offering of Chronic Disease Fund, a 501(c)3 organization, whose focus is patient advocacy. They have calculators, links to places that can help with medical debt, and a tool that will help match the right programs and organizations to your specific situation.

If you have medical debt, whatever you do, find a way to deal with the debt as a high priority.  It’s tough to earn your way out of a mountain of debt – you need a plan to stick too.  Good luck.

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