Wellness

Unexpected Medical Bills: Are You Prepared?

Young couple on the beach with their son and daughter. They are enjoying the day and not thinking about unexpected medical bills.

American adults tend to think they take pretty good care of their health. Many say they try to eat nutritious meals, limit desserts and sugary drinks. They also say they exercise several times a week and get adequate sleep. However, most are not prepared to deal with unexpected medical bills. So when they get sick or have a serious medical condition, it is a surprise.

Research shows that most people have $1,000 or less for unplanned costs. Often, they use credit cards to pay for health care bills. Individual insurance plans help cover health expenses. Here’s how you can be prepared for unexpected medical bills.

Medical costs add up

Americans pay over 3.4 trillion in medical costs annually, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s about $10,000 per individual. By 2023, the cost is projected to increase to $15,000 per person.

Americans are stressed over finances. Nearly 50 percent live paycheck to paycheck. Many find it difficult to balance health care expenses with basic necessities like food and housing.

Unexpected medical problems

Every 34 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. Thanks to advancements in medical technology, about 90% survive this traumatic experience.

A serious illness or accident never is expected or planned. But it is an experience that can affect people the rest of their lives.

While many individuals have health insurance to cover major expenses, they may not be prepared for unexpected medical bills. This includes deductibles, copayments and noncovered expenses. Brush up on your medical terminology by reading this blog.

According to financial experts, each year approximately 1.5 million Americans declare bankruptcy. The biggest reasons for money problems are high medical bills, student loan payments and lost income.

Benefits can help resolve financial worries

Studies show that concerns over finances impact employees’ health, job performance and work relationships. Employers can help employees handle unexpected medical bills. They can offer a range of benefits and financial well-being programs workers want. These include critical illness insurance, student loan repayment benefits and matching retirement savings options.

Educate employees about benefit choices

Every year, workers struggle with an important decision: picking their benefit plans. Many try to research the differences between benefits, but give up because the plans are confusing.

Employers should help employees understand their benefits. They can do this by communicating information regularly using terms that are easy to understand. Read this blog to learn tips on how to help employees pick the right benefits.

Sources:
The Health Care Hustlers
NPR

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