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More Americans are using credit cards to pay medical bills

It's safe to say that people in Chicago can agree with the following two statements. First, medical care is expensive, even if you have health insurance. Second, credit card debt can mount up quickly and can easily grow into an unmanageable debt burden.

That is why a recent report is of concern. It found that more and more Americans are using credit cards to pay for medical care because they have no other payment option. That raises the very real risk that medical emergencies are pushing families into a situation where they may be unable to manage their debt and so need to seek bankruptcy.

The report found that about 60 million people in America are at risk of being saddled with unmanageable medical debt because the cost for medical care has shot up so much lately and because the expense of medical insurance (if you can get it at all) is rising faster than wages. The survey found that fully a quarter of all Americans are having trouble paying medical bills. Of that 25 percent, two-thirds of those people have health insurance.

Now, bankruptcy itself is not necessarily something to be afraid of, but being pushed into bankruptcy by factors beyond your control (indeed, being pushed into anything by factors beyond your control) is no treat. If you ever find yourself scrambling to make ends meet, it would be a good idea to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney earlier rather than later. That way, you will be aware of all your options in as little time as possible.

Source: Health Day, "More Americans Paying Their Medical Bills With Credit Cards," Amanda Gardner, Jan. 16, 2012

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