The purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to make health care more affordable for Americans. In some ways it has been successful. However, studies that were released recently suggest that many people are still struggling with medical debt even with health care coverage.

Ultimately, while 9.4 million fewer families in America are “having problems paying medical bills,” close to 25 percent of adults have medical debt they are trying to pay off, a report from the Urban Institute indicated. 

A spokesman from the Urban Institute said the findings show that Americans can get into trouble with medical debt even with health care insurance.

Part of the reason for that, a Forbes article suggested, may have to do with “cost shifting.” Cost shifting refers to how the health insurance industry and employers have been shifting more costs to plan subscribers, which increases out-of-pocket costs.

Additionally, it leads to people subscribing to plans that offer less coverage than they need. When underinsured, people generally end up having higher deductibles and share more of the medical costs with their plan providers.

So what can a person do if he or she ends up facing mounting medical debt? Know that there are many options available.

In addition to trying to work out lower medical bills with your hospital, bankruptcy may also be an option. As we explained in a past post, bankruptcy can be a very powerful tool to use in eliminating medical debt, and in some cases, it is the best option.

If you are struggling with medical debt even though you have health insurance, you are not alone. Talk with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer today about all of your options for getting back on track financially.