by  Jenny Sanford, AFC®

Imagine yourself experiencing the joy of a new baby or the fear of being ill and not knowing when you will feel better. In both situations, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed navigating the complicated process of getting care along with the ups and downs of life. Pre-approvals, in and out of network services, EOBs, co-pays and deductibles pull your attention away from what is most important in life. If you are dealing with medical bills, you are not alone and Neighbors is here to help. 

For people just getting by, medical bills can become a financial tipping point, and find themselves in collections. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reports that over half (58%) of all collections tradelines with 62% of all medical debts are under $490. 

The effects of carrying medical debt go beyond the financial burden. People may avoid future medical care or not be able to continue seeing previous providers. This leads to earlier mortality than those not carrying medical debts. Filing bankruptcy brings a host of challenges. Medical debt or loss of income due to illness or injury is cited as the cause for 66.5% of bankruptcies.

Financial Counselors at Neighbors can help: 

  • Apply for Medical Assistance and maximize benefits for past bills 
  • Advocate for financial assistance programs with clinics 
  • Teach debt negotiation skills 
  • Develop a plan to work through the debt 

Reach out today to learn ways that you can make a plan to deal with your medical debt. Call us at 651-455-5000 to speak with a financial counselor.

Sources: CFPB report “Medical Debt Burden in the United States” February 2022
Medical Bankruptcy: Still Common Despite the Affordable Care Act March 2019