We often think of spending money as a choice, which is sometimes true—like in the case of travel, entertainment and other “wants.” Or, we at least think of unavoidable costs as predictable—while you’re not choosing to buy food or pay for housing, you know you’ll need to set aside a certain amount of money regularly to cover these “needs.” This allows you to plan ahead so you can purchase them, hopefully without having to accrue debt to do so.
But what about spending that’s both unavoidable and unpredictable? This intersection is where medical debt falls. It’s something you can’t necessarily plan for ahead of time, and the final bill also tends to be a mystery until you owe it. This makes medical debt scary for people with and without health insurance coverage, and understandably so. [Read more…]