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Strike Debt takes on health insurance issues

When the economy falters and unemployment rates are slow to recover, many Americans face growing levels of consumer debt. For families who are confronted with an unexpected illness or injury, medical debt can quickly overwhelm the ability to pay, and lead to a serious financial state from which it can be impossible to recover. One group has set out to inform the public about debt issues, and the role that health insurance plays in keeping many in Michigan and elsewhere saddled with high levels of medical debt.

The group is known as Strike Debt, and is an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Their mission is to make personal debt into a larger political and social issue. Their demonstrations aim to convince the public that debt is a social problem and not a moral failing, and to mobilize people into action.

In terms of medical debt, recent events focused on statistics that suggest that as many as 62 percent of bankruptcies are filed partially due to medical debt. The group also points out that having health insurance is not sufficient to hold debt at bay. As an example, a woman who gives birth to a baby can find herself in debt as high as $10,000, even with health insurance coverage.

For Michigan residents who are overwhelmed with medical debt, change may be on the way through efforts such as those undertaken by Strike Debt. For those who need more immediate debt relief, filing for personal bankruptcy may be the best solution. Each situation is different, and individuals and families should ensure that they fully understand each debt relief option before moving forward.

Source:, "Strike Debt Kicks Off Second Debt Buy-Up With March for Universal Healthcare," John Knefel, March 26, 2013

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