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Medical debt hits more in South Carolina and southern states

While these days more people may be able to afford health insurance, many of those policies include high deductibles. These deductibles may cost a patient thousands of dollars before coverage kicks in. In fact, about 25 percent of working adults in South Carolina and across the country admit to having medical debt that is past due.

Those workers who earn less than $35,000 a year are more likely to have past due medical bills, especially if they are under the age of 40. Research shows that recent generations are not following the old adage that each generation is more successful than the previous one. The studies show that those who live in southern states carry the greatest burden, with 32.4 percent of those in South Carolina struggling with overdue medical debt.

Some believe falling into debt is the result of having poor knowledge of finances and credit. However, research shows that having formal education in finances does not protect one from accumulating overwhelming debt. Knowing that having a cushion to guard against surprise medical bills does not always mean a person has the ability to set aside that kind of money.

When a sudden illness or injury wipes out a family's savings, medical debt and other bills can begin to accumulate at an alarming rate. Some families in South Carolina may fear losing their homes because creditors harass and threaten them with these consequences. To prevent creditors from taking action against them, many turn to a lawyer to discuss the possibility of bankruptcy protection. Bankruptcy options offer people a clean financial slate and a fresh start.

Source: CBS News, "These Americans suffer from the most overdue medical debt", Aimee Picchi, March 1, 2017

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