In the midst of a global economic downturn and shutdowns in various parts of the United States, many are struggling with the loss of their jobs. In some situations, this means no health insurance, leading to many having to pay for any medical care they need out of pocket. This often results in an accumulation of medical debt, which is a serious financial concerned for overwhelmed and out-of-work consumers.

Millions of those who are currently unemployed in Massachusetts and across the country are struggling with paying for health care. Some are even putting off procedures they need to avoid additional debt. Right now, around 20 million Americans are carrying a total of $45 billion in medical debt. This is a problem that has been growing exponentially since early spring of 2020 when mass layoffs began.

Studies find that nearly one half of Americans do not have at least $400 set aside in case of an emergency. This means most are woefully unprepared to pay for health care costs out of pocket, no matter the cost. This problem will likely continue for months as many are still looking for work, recovering from months of unemployment and paying off additional debt.

Medical debt is a serious financial concern for some Massachusetts consumers. Individuals who can no longer keep up with payments may want to consider bankruptcy as a way to deal with this type of unsecured debt. Through this process, an applicant can enjoy a reprieve from debt collectors while taking steps to protect their long-term financial interests.