Why People with Good Health Insurance Go into Medical Debt In 2022

Nov 26, 2023 By Susan Kelly

Financial experts from personal finance constantly insist that you should have health insurance to prevent financial disaster. We're not wrong. Health insurance can help provide more cash in your pockets and give you better healthcare when compared to not having insurance. But our straightforward advice overlooks the severe issue that many who have health insurance - and good health insurance- are still in debt for medical expenses. A survey conducted in 2017 revealed that 19 percent of U.S. households could not afford medical treatment immediately. This guide is for those searching for Why People with Good Health Insurance Go into Medical Debt?

Definition of "Good" Health Insurance

What makes a good health insurance policy beneficial? There isn't an all-encompassing answer. A health insurance plan that is suitable for you may be an unsuitable one that is ideal for your the best-friend of yours or for the colleague who works in the cubicle with you. There is a chance that you have a chronic illness such as diabetes or a chronic disease. That makes a plan with a low deductible vast network and a 90/10 coinsurance an excellent alternative to the premiums that are high each month.

Your colleague could be a semi-professional cyclist that hasn't suffered from colds in the past five years. The ideal insurance policy for them would require the lowest monthly premiums and provides catastrophic insurance if they are diagnosed with an illness like cancer. We'll assume that you have a plan which is good for you. What if you ended in a plethora of medical bills?

Which Is the Definition of Medical Debt?

The SIPP reports that in 2017 19 percent of U.S. households carried medical debt, defined as medical expenses that people could not pay in advance or pay for care. The median amount owed for families with medical debt was $2,000; half of them had more, while 50% had less.

Similar to other types of loans, medical debt indicates households can are unable to spend their money on other necessities like food or housing. Patients with medical deficits or at risk of developing medical debt might also choose not to receive medical treatment or care. Medical debt could result in bankruptcy.

Charge Medical Bills to Credit Cards

According to a study conducted in 2019 of U.S. bankruptcy filers, 58.5 percent of respondents thought that medical expenses played a role in contributing to their bankruptcy. A high credit card interest could rapidly increase medical debt and make it more challenging to pay back.

Not completing Exams or Cutting Corners

With the soaring costs of hidden fees, busy schedules, and a general disdain for hospitals and doctors, many people opt to save money on their healthcare. They don't use their medications according to the prescription, which means they could not be better or manage a chronic disease under control. They miss annual exams and aren't able to detect problems even when they're small and cheap to operate. In the end, they'll have more significant, more costly issues which they aren't able to ignore and have to pay huge expenses.

Covering up Hidden Costs

As mentioned above, the annual maximum of out-of-pocket costs will help keep your healthcare costs lower in the year you require a lot of medical attention. However, the maximums for out-of-network services are often significantly more expensive than those in the network. The maximum amount you pay out of pocket for out-of-network health care could be twice that of the one you have in your network.

As much as you try to ensure you receive services within your network, It's not difficult to be taken advantage of by receiving an out-of-network invoice. Suppose you undergo surgical procedures at a network hospital and receive an invoice from an out-of-network assistant surgeon. You may visit your in-network primary care doctor, but you receive an out-of-network bill from the lab that performed the blood test. Perhaps you suffer from a rare condition and require an outside-of-network specialist with experience treating the disease.

Encountering Opaque Pricing

It is possible to have good health insurance but find yourself in medical debt if providers are unable or unwilling to provide you with a price before you sign up for costly but essential procedures. If you accidentally cut your finger during a cooking accident. You seek out the emergency room to receive stitches. You don't know how much the bill will cost until you receive it by mail, about a month later? It would help if you tried trying to get the front desk to estimate the cost when you arrive for an appointment, as they're not aware of the procedures you'll require until a nurse or doctor visits you. You'll have been charged to cover one ER visit at that point.

What happens after getting stitched within the ER? Let's say that you go to an expert regarding your numbness and nerve pain and find out that you require hand surgery to repair the nerve you cut off. The hospital where you'll undergo the procedure isn't able to inform you in advance what the price will be.


There are countless reasons people with good health insurance may end up in medical debt. Inexperience denied claims, prescriptions that are not prescribed, massive cost discrepancies from one provider to the following, chronic ailments, and the staggering cost of COBRA when you're laid off could also be contributing. Although you are aware of the problems we face within our healthcare system, you might have difficulty attempting to avoid the burden of the financial obligations of medical debt. However, knowing that many people are in this circumstance could provide you with some information that can help you reduce the amount of medical debt in the event it happens to you.

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