Most Americans Struggle To Pay Medical Bills

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(Memphis) A new government study shows most Americans are having trouble paying their medical bills and it's the number one reason families are filing for personal bankruptcy.

A survey from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Center's for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that in 2012 one in four families struggled to pay their medical bills and one in ten said there were medical costs they couldn't pay at all.

The study also showed that Families with incomes at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level were more likely to experience financial burdens of medical care than families with incomes above 250 percent of the FPL.

Doctors at Church Health Center, who provide health care to the working uninsured, say in Memphis too many are waiting until it's took late to get medical help because they just can't afford it.

"I had a woman in here today who a (large) tumor in her breast. It's not that she didn't know about it. She kept praying it would go away, because she didn't have health insurance. It shouldn't be that way in this city," said Dr. Scott Morris.

The Affordable Care Act was created to extend health-care coverage to some 48 million uninsured, but local doctors say even those who sign up could still find themselves facing financial hurdles.

"One of the real challenges, even if the subsidy might work for you a bronze policy often means a deductible of $4,000- $5,000. If you are working in a minimum wage jog. I'm not quite sure how you are going to pay that," said Dr. Morris.

Another recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 70 percent of people with medical debt are already uninsured.


  • Harold

    One of the things people aren’t thinking about is even with the a.c.a. you have to pay 100% of your premiums through the year. You won’t see the subsidy, if you qualify, till tax time.

  • Marvin

    When the ER charges close to $1000.00 for them to make you wait 2 hours then see you for less than 5 minutes just to tell you that they can’t do anything for you and you will have to see a specialist. …. something is wrong!

    If I ever have a mild heart attack, I would probably die from it because I would worry that I would put my family in a financial bind over what MIGHT be gas………

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