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People with credit card debt less likely to seek medical care

Medical bills can be difficult for Floridians to handle in even the best of circumstances. Everyone knows about the high cost of medical care, and few people are able to handle the bills on their own without some type of coverage. Some people even forgo medical care when they’re sick, to avoid falling further into debt.

A new study found that people with credit card debt are the most likely to avoid seeking needed medical treatment. Sociologists at the University of Michigan say that over 64 percent of Americans who need medical help have not seen a care provider because of their credit card debt, while 58 percent haven’t sought additional treatment because they’re already deeply in medical debt.

Although it’s unknown for sure why having credit card debt is more likely to discourage sick people from seeking treatment, as opposed to other forms of debt, researchers believe the category of debt is a factor. Mortgages, car loans, and student loans are generally thought of as “good” debt with lower interest rates. A person with those types of debt is thought to be more able financially to handle medical costs. Credit card debt is commonly considered “bad” debt, with lower-earning consumers often accruing this type of debt as a way to stay above water, but rapidly becoming overwhelmed financially.

Those who avoid getting medical help when they’re sick can end up facing additional health and financial challenges, as illnesses can worsen and productivity and income is lowered. At this point, the potential cost to regain health can skyrocket. People in this situation shouldn’t have to suffer and worry about their finances. Speaking with a bankruptcy attorney may help to reveal options for those who are in debt and need medical attention.

Source: Fox Business, “Credit Card Debt Causes People to Forgo Medical Care,” Martin Merzer, May 21, 2013

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