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Tell Us About Your Health Care Debt And How It Impacts The Rest Of Your Life

An unexpected hospitalization, doctors who claim to be in your insurance network but aren’t, treatment for chronic diseases that force you to rack up credit card debt — sure, there's no price on good health, but tell that to the debt collectors.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Health care is a hotly debated topic, but there’s one thing most people can agree on: It’s gotten seriously expensive. Medical bills send many people into debt, and we rarely hear the details about it.

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In a survey, 3 in 10 insured people had an unpaid medical debt sent to a collection agency.

We all try our best to navigate the crazy health care and insurance system, but many of us still face jaw-dropping bills in the end.

For example, did you learn the hard way that a doctor’s office telling you they “take your insurance” isn’t the same thing as being an in-network provider, leaving you with thousands of dollars in bills you didn’t think you’d have to pay?

One man told BuzzFeed he went to a well-known doctors’ rating-and-appointment website to find a local podiatrist in his insurance network. He even called the practice to confirm that they were in-network before undergoing surgery. They responded, “Don’t worry. Of course, we take your insurance.” But the doctor and anesthesiologist weren’t in-network, and thousands of dollars in bills started rolling in. A collection agency got involved.

Or did your doctor’s office give you an estimate for a service, but the actual bill ended up being way, way more?

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Have your medical bills prevented you from paying for your other expenses? Has it affected your credit?

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Anna Kruk Corbin, whose two sons both have a genetic disorder called Noonan syndrome said she and her husband accumulated five-figure credit card debt after trying to pay off hospital bills. “It was our children’s future lives at stake, and we weren’t thinking, Well with the interest rates...but interest payments are so high, and we’re not getting very far [paying it off].”

Sure, there’s no price on good health, but that’s also hard logic to follow when the literal dollars-and-cents price of receiving health care can cast a long and dark shadow on our finances for years to come.

Fox / Via giphy.com

Can you relate to stories like these about medical debt? We’d like to hear about your experience.

Please tell us in as specific terms as you can how medical debt has affected your life. What procedure or incident resulted in an unpayable bill, and what year did this happen? Did you end up in debt despite the annual caps on out-of-pocket payments set by Obamacare? How much debt did you end up with, and how does it still impact you today?

If you can, please include your age and your total medical debt, in dollars, up top, for context.

Your story could be featured in a BuzzFeed post or video.

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