An unexpected medical emergency or prolonged condition can quickly become an overwhelming financial burden. According to a study published in the Journal of Health Affairs, medical debt is now one of the leading causes of bankruptcy, affecting an estimated average of 2 million Americans each year. While many depend on health insurance to assist with the cost of medical treatment, an overwhelming 75.7 percent of those whose illness led to bankruptcy had insurance at the onset of their illness.
If something unexpected were to happen to you or a family member, planning ahead can help you avoid a serious financial setback. The best plan of action is to take proactive measures before an injury or illness strikes.
With open enrollment right around the corner for many American workers, the experts at Money Management International (MMI), the nationÂ™s largest full service nonprofit credit and debt counseling and education agency, encourage you to perform an annual check-up of your medical insurance benefits by asking the following questions:
Consistent coverage is the most important thing, said Cate Williams, vice president of financial literacy for MMI. Although no one plans to get sick, the old saying that Â˜ItÂ™s better to be safe than sorryÂ™ is still true today.
Williams added, An emergency savings cushion is a great idea too Â” even with insurance, co-pays and other outside expenses can wreak havoc on an already tight budget, especially if your illness causes you to miss work.
About Money Management International
Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance,Â financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800-762-2271 or visit www.MoneyManagement.org.
Brittney Cochran, 713-627-2223 ext. 1122