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Medical Debt Sending Many Over Financial Brink

Posted Nov 03 2008 8:55pm

Check I just read this article online and thought it was a good example of the kinds of situations many of are facing or have been coping with. Most people on our mailing list at Rest Ministries are on a very limited budget... meaning, even if they are not in a financial crises, they are aware of the fact that their medical expenses could double at any moment and that could make a huge difference in their life.

Ironically in the USA, althought a job is vital to one's well-being and being able to pay the mortgage or rent, it is the medical insurance that comes with many jobs that is what we worry about losing the most. I have insurance through my husband's work. If his job was discontinued, I know he could find something to help provide for our family. But the lack of medical insurance would be the biggest hurdle we would face.

And if we didn't pay COBRA fees (outrageously expensive) to keep our medical insurance, I would then have a "pre-existing condition" making it hard to get re-insured later on, if not impossble. It's easy to understand how most people resort to using credit cards for medical debt. There are huge consequences for unpaid medical debt -- like hospitals looking up your credit rating before going forward with treatment. (See the article about this in the Wall Street Journal here: Why Hospitals Want Your Credit Report )

I wish I had answers... My answer to everything these days seeems to be "God is in control" and "one day at a time." But I wanted to share this story because I thought it was a good representation of the typical American family and was glad to see the news doing stories on how even those with insurance can quickly become tens of thousands of dollars in debt just through our co-payments and deductibles.

And although it's wonderful when friends help us out and look for fundraising ideas to cover medical expenses, do we want to have our ability to pay based on what we can bring in with a cupcake sale? If you looked up research on the internet, you'd be surprised to see how many people are doing various searches with the phrases, "benifit fundraiser money for medical expenses stolen" or "money raised for child's medical expenses stolen." How devestating that would be!


I can't wait for heaven and those new bodies. How about you? And just think! No co-payments! No waiting rooms! No pharmacies in heaven!

Lisa

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Medical Debt Sending Many Over Financial Brink - Yahoo! News

TUESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) --Since 1999, Keith and Deborah Krinsky of Magalia, Calif., have seen their health insurance deductible soar from $1,000 to $10,000. And their health-care costs have put them in a financial hole. A combination of Keith's chronic asthma and potential heart problems, Deborah's connective tissue disorder and fallen arches, and their kids' various scrapes and stumbles led them to amass a pile of credit card debt and forced them to refinance the mortgage on their house -- which they now are having trouble paying.

(click title above to read the complete article)

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