Even with health insurance, about twenty percent of Americans have trouble paying for medical treatment, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation and New York Times survey. Washtenaw County health officials say that number doesn't surprise them.
Carrie Rheingans is with the Washtenaw Health Initiative. She hears many stories from local residents with health care coverage who still struggle to make ends meet after a family illness.
“Even though the affordable care act has made some reforms, there’s out of pocket maximums that people pay annually. There is a maximum cap on that, [but] a $6,500 cap is still a lot of money for someone, particularly if they are low income.”
Rheingans says there are state programs which help families pay for the cost of a child’s long term illness, but there are none for adults.