According to a government survey published in the Bloomberg Personal Finance this week, one in four US families struggled to pay medical bills in 2012, and one in 10 said they had costs they couldn’t pay at all.
The survey, released from the National Center for Health Statistics at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also found the lack of health insurance increased the burden of medical debt.
Major provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect this year as the Obama administration seeks to extend healthcare coverage to most of the nation’s 48 million uninsured. The law may help lessen some of the financial burdens of medical care, said Karen Pollitz, a fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Unpaid medical bills is the number one reason why families declare personal bankruptcy,” Pollitz said in a telephone interview. “It causes people to lose equity in their homes, to endanger their retirement and their kid’s college education. It will destroy a family financially.” Read the rest of the article here.