Out of pocket medical costs scheduled to increase

According to the most recent Transunion Healthcare Report, out of pocket medical expenses increased more than 25 percent in 2013 and are likely to continue to increase. (Consumer Bankruptcy News, December 5, 2013).  As out of pocket medical costs are scheduled to increase, available consumer credit that is often relied upon to cover those costs is declining.  (CBN). What does this mean for consumers in Minnesota? It will be harder and harder to find credit to cover unplanned expenses.  Consumers with lower incomes who are more likely to look for subprime loans to pay the unanticipated medical bills are in fact most likely eligible for charitable assistance to cover these bills, but fail to obtain assistance due to improperly completed paperwork, among other reasons.   Although overall consumer debt has decreased, medical debt may be poised to precipitate increases in the consumer debt load.  The increases in the out of pocket medical expenses that have been observed since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, but the impact of the of the implementation of the Act is difficult to predict.  It may be that lower income individuals will fare better under the act if they are able to avail themselves of all the benefits.



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