The Legal Services You Need. The Price You Can Afford. Your Hometown Lawyer.

Should you worry about medical debt if you have insurance?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2024 | Chapter 7

Medical debt is a significant issue in the United States. When you look at the reasons that people file for bankruptcy every year, you will find that medical debt is very commonly cited. It’s one of the top reasons that consumers find themselves facing unsustainable debt and looking into bankruptcy to eliminate that debt and get a fresh financial start.

But what if you have medical insurance? Maybe you purchase it yourself, or maybe it is provided by your employer. Does this mean you don’t have to worry about medical debt?

Debt can still be a significant issue

Unfortunately, health insurance can’t always prevent medical debt. For one thing, you typically have to hit a deductible, which could be thousands of dollars. So even with insurance, some debt will be accumulated.

Additionally, insurance pays for very specific services. If you get services from medical professionals who are considered “out of network,” then you may have to pay the full balance yourself, even though you thought it would be covered by insurance. You typically don’t find out that you got out of network services until after the fact, so you’re just on the hook for however much your insurance company refuses to pay.

It can be helpful to have health insurance, especially if you face a major catastrophe, because it can cover some of your costs. However, you certainly do not want to assume that having health insurance is going to prevent you from ever accumulating substantial medical debt. If you do, then it’s time to look into all of your legal options and other steps you can take.