Le Lézard
Classified in: Health, Business
Subjects: SVY, HSP, DEI

Inflation Is Making Us Sick, Physically and Financially

Debt.com's annual survey shows Americans are falling behind on their medical bills ? and even forgoing medical care.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- If inflation isn't making you sick, it might be keeping you sick.

Medical debt was a growing problem before inflation, even before the pandemic. Now it's becoming a crisis. 

Debt.com's 2023 medical debt survey shows some worrisome increases over its 2022 results:

"Inflation may be subsiding, but the damage it wrought will stay with us for a long time," says Debt.com founder and chairperson Howard Dvorkin, CPA. "Medical debt was a growing problem before inflation, even before the pandemic. Now it's becoming a crisis."

The problem is so pervasive, it's no longer a major illness that causes financial problems. It's regular appointments with doctors ? even more than going to the hospital or emergency room:

2023 primary source of medical debt

2020 primary source of medical debt

The only good news in this year's Debt.com survey is that the amount of medical debt is lower than in past years:

2023 medical debt amount

2020 medical debt amount

Dvorkin believes these results show Americans are so financially stressed, they can no longer afford even the basic medical care. "Medical debt doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's quite likely that doctor's visits have become harder to pay because Americans have many other debts they're juggling. Credit card balances are approaching levels not seen in decades, and student loans aren't getting any smaller. Add in regular checkups, and it's a cumulative and pervasive problem."

Even worse, Dvorkin says these numbers reveal that Americans are unaware of the proven methods to help with medical debt ? from payment plans to debt settlement. "Today, most people are aware of their credit scores, and they understand the impact of high interest rates on their credit cards. They're even learning about their options for lowering student loan payments. But they don't know how to handle their medical bills. And that's just not good for their health."

About Debt.com: Debt.com is a consumer website where people can find help with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, credit repair, bankruptcy, and more. Debt.com works with vetted and certified providers that give the best advice and solutions for consumers 'when life happens.'

SOURCE Debt.com

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