I work on Cancer Legal Care’s Insurance Claim and Advocacy Resolution (ICARE) team. When I first read these two reports, it was like reading notes from our client calls. In most cases, you could change the names of the folks who told their stories for these pieces, and they could be our clients.
Both reports are worth your time, and you should read them. But I figured I’d share four of the most stunning pieces with you.
Let’s start with the big one:
“... more than 100 million people in America ― including 41% of adults ― (are) beset by a health care system that is systematically pushing patients into debt on a mass scale, an investigation by KHN and NPR shows.”
I’m a numbers guy, and that’s just staggering to me. 100 million! I think it’s easy for our clients to feel ashamed of their medical debt, but this report makes it clear that the deck is stacked against folks. No need for shame when you’re in the company of 100 million other Americans.
Next, take a look at the graph at the top of this post.
It absolutely maps on to our clients’ experiences. We have clients who have to pay medical providers $100 a month for the next 20 years just to clear their debt. Some clients are so desperate that they just keep opening up new credit cards. The kind of debt may look different for each client, but the anxiety that debt creates is the same.
Then, this quote:
“Two-thirds of Americans with health care debt say they haven’t fully paid a bill because they were expecting their health plan to cover it… But health insurance rules and restrictions are often so complex that even diligent patients struggle to make sense of them.”
This is exactly the problem ICARE exists to help solve. Most of our work is helping clients get their cancer treatments covered by their insurance after they’ve been denied. The client can focus on their health while we work to get them the coverage they’ve paid for. And we’re often successful.
“Medical providers say this is one of the most pernicious effects of America’s debt crisis, keeping the sick away from care and piling toxic stress on patients when they are most vulnerable. The financial strain can slow patients’ recovery and even increase their chances of death, cancer researchers have found.”
Our clients talk about this toxic stress a lot. You’ve read about it in some of our client stories recently. Some clients feel they have to delay or refuse treatment because they’re worried about the cost. Since one typical chemotherapy treatment costs around $70,000, you can imagine how quickly these costs become unmanageable.
These reports just reinforce why it’s so important for you to reach out to our team if you’re struggling with medical debt or insurance denials. The sooner we get involved, the better. You can reach our team by email or phone, whatever works best for you. Click here to set up an appointment.
Our team would love to hear your thoughts on these reports, and you can reach out anytime. We’re honored to do this work.
Thanks for reading.
PS. If you're not quite ready to reach out, but want to learn more, take a look at some of the videos we have here.