In the United States, medical care is notoriously extremely expensive. Americans pay thousands for procedures that are free in other countries.
What this means is that even a minor issue may cost far more than most people just have on hand. When people think of overwhelming debt, they think of cancer, serious injuries and other issues that lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars — or even millions of dollars — in debt.
But the truth is that something far less drastic may be more expensive than you realize.
Exploring a few common costs
To see how this happens, let’s start with a broken arm. Most people have broken a bone at one point or another, and it doesn’t sound like a major issue, but the average cost is $2,500.
And that’s just if the break can be set without surgery. If you do need surgery, then the cost skyrockets to $16,000. You could almost buy a new car for that much money, but you have to come up with it all at once suddenly.
An ambulance ride may also cost more than you realize. It typically ranges from $400 to $1,200. And that’s without medical care. It’s just a ride to the hospital.
So, if you broke your arm in a fall at home and called an ambulance, you could already be looking at more than $17,000 in medical bills. As you can imagine, many people don’t have $17,000 in their checking account.
What can you do?
With the healthcare system bringing these types of bills to thousands of people every day, it may be wise to consider bankruptcy and your other legal options if the debt is insurmountable.