covid 19 - health cost debt

Debt industry fights to be “essential” during pandemic.

DEBT COLLECTORS, facing growing demands to freeze the collection of debt across the country amid the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, are mobilizing their lobbyists to push back.

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Update from RIPmedicalDebt.

RIP Medical Debt’s New Executive Director, Allison Sesso.

 

We are in this together. While we must be physically distant, now is the time for community. This pandemic is worldwide, but there are unique implications for the United States because of the strong link between coverage and cost in our health care system. We can expect this old problem to take on new dimensions as the fiscal pressures on families and health care providers are exacerbated.

 

We know this pandemic will worsen the medical debt crisis by creating additional debt for millions of under and uninsured as they seek treatment at an average estimated cost of $20,000 (healthsystemtracker.org) per person. Many will lose the ability to pay pre-COVID-19 related medical debts due to massive job loss, which could be as high as 10.6% (forbes.com).

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Issues facing the uninsured.

With COVID-19 cases rising in the US, issues surrounding access to testing and treatment for uninsured individuals have taken on heightened importance. Efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the United States are dependent on people who may have been exposed to the virus or who are sick getting tested and seeking medical treatment. However, the uninsured are likely to face significant barriers to testing for COVID-19 and any care they may need should they contract the virus.

In 2018, there were nearly 28 million nonelderly people in the US who lacked health insurance. States that have not expanded Medicaid under the ACA generally have higher uninsured rates than states that did. Adults, low-income individuals and people of color are at greater risk of being uninsured. Most uninsured lack coverage because of high cost or because of a recent change in their situation that led to a loss of coverage, such as a loss of a job. Though most uninsured people have a full time worker (72%) or part-time worker (11%) in their family, many people do not have access to coverage through a job, and some people, particularly poor adults in states that did not expand Medicaid, remain ineligible for financial assistance for coverage.

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Montana - N. Wyoming Conference, United Church of Christ

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