Saving up for emergency medical expenses is critical, yet many people don’t (or can’t) do it.
Even if you’re insured and have some money saved up, medical debt can cause people to work more in order to pay it off.
40% of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency expense, according to the Federal Reserve Board. The average emergency medical bill in the US is $12,126.22 before any help and deductions, but insurance very often doesn’t cover the full cost of healthcare. When the various medical bills are piling up and insurance is slow and not covering the full cost, many people resort to taking second jobs. Deductible bills alone can push you underwater financially. In fact, medical debt is the largest cause of bankruptcies in the US according to CNBC.
During the 2009 state of the union address, then-President Barack Obama stated that medical bankruptcies occur every 30 seconds, or over 1 million annually. Several studies offer credence to that statement, and this particular form of debt is actually holding back the larger US economy, as the rate of consumer bankruptcies has a direct effect on consumer spending.
The best ways to avoid medical bankruptcy is simply to save. Filing for bankruptcy will cause untold havoc in your life, as it stays on your record for 10 years, affecting your ability to get a job or secure a loan. Insurance often doesn’t cover everything, and filing for bankruptcy costs thousands on its own. It is critical to save, while managing any long-term or chronic health problems.