Increasing number of insured patients can not afford medical bills

Because of rising deductibles and cost-sharing rules, insured patients are increasingly faced with medical bills that they are unable to pay.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, bad debt from insured patients rose 28 percent in 2008. Another survey found the percentage of bad debt attributable to patients with insurance rose from 20 percent in 2007 to 30 percent last year.

Some experts endorse the high-deductible plans, as they make consumers more aware of the cost and force them to look for the lower cost option. However, these plans can cost consumers thousands of dollars per year.

(Sources: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com, August 13, 2010; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, August 16, 2010)