The New York Times published an article this week detailing how many hospitals, one of which is in Tennessee (LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis), have started suing their patients by the thousands for unpaid medical bills. Many of the patients had insurance and the hospitals were suing for deductibles and co-pays. According to the article, more than half of the reports to credit bureaus were a result of unpaid medical bills. Of course, in addition to the cost of litigation and the underlying medical bill, this affects people’s credit rating and overall financial health. Consider this from a study by the Commonwealth Fund:
43 percent had used up all their savings to pay their (medical) bills, 43 percent had received a lower credit rating as a result of their debt, 32 percent racked up debt on their credit cards, 18 percent said they had delayed education or career plans. People with lower incomes were particularly affected: 37 percent said they were unable to pay for basic necessities like food, heat or rent as a result of their (medical) bills.
Clearly, medical bills can be devastating to many families – even those with medical insurance. So how does this relate to a car accident or other injury-producing accident? Continue reading