Across the country, people like you and I are facing financial hardship because of burgeoning medical costs. We’ve heard it all before, but medical debt really is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy for Americans. In fact, in 2007, 62% of all bankruptcies were related to medical bills. That is not the only jaw-dropping statistic. In 2010, almost 21% of Americans reported difficulties paying their medical bills. Of those families, almost 66% reported problems paying for other necessities and almost 25% considered bankruptcy. Five percent of all people in families with medical bill problems did actually file for bankruptcy.
In Colorado it is no different. According to the 2011 Colorado Health Access Survey Report, 21% of Coloradans had difficulty paying their medical bills in 2011.
Clearly, medical bills are severely constraining working families. The fear of ending up with large bills leads to individuals choosing to delay medical care. Coloradans should be able to get the care they need, when they need it. Individuals should not be forced to make difficult choices between health care and other basic necessities.
Does this sound familiar? If so, please tell us your story! The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative is committed to ensuring access to quality, affordable healthcare. You can share your story here through our story bank project.