Even insured can face crushing medical debt, study finds
New York Times “TheUpshot” blog, Jan.5, 2016
by Margot Sanger-Katz
Here is the surest way to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance: Don’t get sick.
(click here to answer NY Times question: How have medical bills changed your life?)
The number of uninsured Americans has fallen by an estimated 15 million since 2013, thanks largely to the Affordable Care Act. But a new survey, the first detailed study of Americans struggling with medical bills, shows that insurance often fails as a safety net. Health plans often require hundreds or thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket payments — sums that can create a cascade of financial troubles for the many households living paycheck to paycheck.
Carrie Cota learned the hard way that health insurance does not guarantee financial security. Ms. Cota, a 56-year-old travel agent from Rosamond, Calif., learned she had the autoimmune disease lupus in 2007. She ran up thousands of dollars in medical and dental bills and ended up losing her job, and eventually her house. READ MORE.
- January 5, 2016 at 7:36 pm
I got sick while in college in 2007. I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2010. I have moved 7 times since then because I was no longer self sufficient. I’ve been working fulltime for two years and still pay almost half of my monthly income on copays, my insurance deductible and medical bills. How will I ever pay my student loans, afford to feed myself and live on my own when my treatment (which is slowly but surely working) costs almost half of what I bring home each month? I don’t know the answer, but one thing I’ve learned is to accept is that my health is top priority no matter the cost and sacrifice. Some people spend their lives making a living, having a family and a career. But there are also people like me who are spending their lives trying to keep their sick bodies above water. That’s an unfortunate way to live, but I’ve decided to never ever ever give up-no matter what.
- January 7, 2016 at 7:15 am
We stopped paying the bills sent for what our horrible insurance won’t cover. Can’t get blood from a stone. I no longer am able to work and my license to drive was revoked because of neuro Lyme, husband works and brings home decent pay but one income, 3 kids, and my Lyme costs along with regular bills isn’t enough. One day, my breaking point, I realized I was sitting at my table deciding if the medical bill was more important over heating oil. It was a wake up call, a eye opener that made me decide that my life, children, and husbands over all care was going to win over greedy insurance companies. I’m the stone that you can’t drain blood out of. Think about this:
1. You pay a monthly premium for insurance coverage
2. You pay a co pay for everything
3. You pay a percentage of what they say you are responsible for hoping you meet at least one out of four deductibles.
So what’s the point of insurance? They get paid triple dipping while we can’t even get the cone to put one dip upon it.
They can keep sending the bills and the mail stating they sold off the debt to another company who will also never see a DIME nor PENNY from me ever again. My survival and my family come first. So here’s my suggestion to
Insurance companies: bring it on, you’ll lose in the end.
- January 12, 2016 at 11:36 am
My daughter has lyme and she is 7.5 years old. All my money is spent on her treatments for the past 5+ years.
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