These days, millions of consumers remain uninsured or have healthcare plans that do not cover certain expenses, and these must be covered out of pocket. However, many are choosing to put the resultant bills on their credit cards, leading to more credit card debt.
A recent survey by Demos found that close to half of all low- and middle-income households in the U.S. are carrying debt from the out of pocket medical expenses they've faced, according to a report from the New York Times. As a consequence, the average amount of medical debt carried on their credit cards stood at $1,678.
In all, about 75 percent of households that carried debt faced some kind of out of pocket medical expense in the last three years, and 62 percent of those who did said they took on credit card debt to cover it, the report said. The median amount of these accumulated balances was $800.
Consumers who face significant medical bills may end up having to seek out debt relief options, particularly if they put those balances on their credit cards.