The costs of receiving medical care in this country continues to skyrocket. According to one report, healthcare expenses per person in this country have gone from about $350 per year in 1970 to almost $11,600 per year as of the end of 2019, which is an increase of over 30-fold.
Even if one adjusts for inflation, spending has still increased by 600% between the early 1970s and the past decade. In other words, healthcare costs continue to grow much faster than the rate of inflation, and it is not surprising that many Texans feel the pinch as a result.
Higher healthcare costs also mean more medical debt
There are still many Houston residents who either have no medical insurance or do not have insurance which covers their needs. As a result, another study paints a picture of a country where too many people are struggling with medical debt.
Of those asked as part of the study, over 45% said that they were currently paying off at least one medical bill. About one of three people, 32%, owed between $1,000 and $5,000, which is certainly not small change for the average household.
Another 30% owed between $5,000 and $50,000 in medical bills. By contrast, only 18% of those asked owed between $500 and $1,000, and 14% owed a relatively small bill, less than $500, to their providers.
Even people who have a good income can find themselves having to stretch things financially to pay a large medical bill, but these bills can be a real disaster if they come on the heels of other debts or unexpected expenditures.
Unemployment can also mean that the person will have to choose between meeting their basic needs and avoiding aggressive medical collectors.
Of course, the large the bill, the more serious the financial pinch. Thankfully, bankruptcy may be a reliable option for getting relief from overwhelming medical debt.