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20 Percent of all U.S. citizens face unpaid medical debt

Washington residents who are hospitalized due to illness or an emergency following an accident commonly end up facing medical bills that were not anticipated. One never knows what the extent of the expenses will be, and many people are completely overwhelmed by the resulting medical debt. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced that 20 percent of U.S. citizens failed to pay medical bills in 2014.

The report revealed that almost 50 percent of those with unpaid medical bills have no other significant debts. The Bureau suggested that many consumers fail to understand the bills and notices sent out by the hospitals and insurance companies. Unfortunately, failure to settle medical bills can have dire consequences, such as lowered credit scores. Low credit scores will affect other aspects of their lives because they will have difficulty obtaining financing for homes and cars.

Consumers who are baffled by the charges for the different treatments they received may want to take it up with their insurance companies in an attempt to gain clarity about the charges. Neglecting to pay the bills will result in additional interest charges that will increase the outstanding amount significantly. Discussing any disputed charges with the hospital or insurance company may resolve the issue.

However, Washington consumers who are facing mountains of medical debt may want to explore the available options to remedy their situations. A consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney may be beneficial. An understanding of the protection offered by personal bankruptcy may equip consumers with the knowledge necessary to make responsible decisions that may provide an opportunity to have a fresh financial start.

Source:, "42.9 Million Americans Are In Debt With Medical Bills, New Report Shows", David Pence, Dec. 11, 2014

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