25 Percent of US Families Struggle to Meet their Medical Expenses - Healthcare | Financial Buzz

25 Percent of US Families Struggle to Meet their Medical Expenses

Medical Bills, Medical, Obamacare, HealthcareAccording to a Government Survey, at least one in four families in the US said that they struggle to pay the medical expenses in 2012 and at least one out of 10 families suggested that they have accumulated medical expenses that they will never be able to pay. The survey that was released earlier this week from the National Center for Health Statistics at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also pointed at the fact that the lack of health insurance has increased the burden of medical debt severely.

While the provisions for the 2010 Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act came into effect this year, the Obama Administration has been trying to extend the coverage for healthcare to nearly the entire uninsured population of 48 million citizens living in the US. Karen Pollitz who is a fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation said that the law is likely to play a crucial role in helping reduce the financial burden of medical care.

Problems with insurance

Most families declare bankruptcy simply because of their unpaid medical bills and these bills also cause many families to lose a significant amount of equity from their homes and endanger their retirement funds, college funds and eventually move on to destroy the financial stability of a family completely, nudging them towards bankruptcy. The Affordable Care Act other than bringing previously uninsured families into a secure zone, will also make sure that the annual limits on coverage benefits are relaxed and as a result patients will no longer be facing huge bills once they reach their coverage limits.

High out of pocket costs

The Affordable Care Act is also the largest expansion of medical insurance that America has witnessed in over 40 years The law has also facilitated certain types of insurance exchanges where the citizens can procure private insurance plans with the help of federal tax credits and has also expanded the eligibility criteria for some of the state run medical aid programs that are intended for the poor. The Kaiser Family Foundation in its study has found that 70 percent of the people who report problems with their medical bills are generally covered by some kind of insurance. Cost-sharing was one of the greatest contributor in these situations as the out of pocket costs involved were easily a lot more than the amount of cash that was available to most households.