Many people are just one medical emergency away from a financial crisis.
Hundreds of millions of Americans are living in medical debtaccording to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
To pay medical bills, many people have taken on other types of debt, including credit cards, personal bank loans, or loans from family and friends. Medical debt creates stress and prevents people from renting houses and buying cars. It makes people less likely to seek the medical care they need. It contributes to bankruptcy.
The number of Minnesotans with medical debt is small compared to other parts of the country, largely due to our state’s health insurance programs for low-income people. Around Two percent of Minnesota households have medical debt in collections. But that rate is twice as high in communities of color.
At 9:00 a.m. Monday, MPR News anchor Angela Davis speaks with a financial advisor and the head of a national nonprofit that forgives medical debt about tackling medical debt.
And we want to hear from you too. Do you have medical debt? Having trouble paying hospital bills? Or maybe you’re trying to manage high bills for mental health services or personal care assistants or dental work? How is this debt affecting you? Or do you have questions for our guests. Call us during the 9 a.m. hour at 651-227-6000 or 800-242-2828 or tweet @AngelaDavisMPR.
Allison Seso is President and CEO of RIP Medical Debt, a national nonprofit that uses donations to purchase and cancel medical debt.
Kim Miller is a Certified Financial Advisor with the Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.
Laura Orr is Senior Counsel at South Minnesota Regional Legal Service based in St. Paul.