Doc, I owe how much? - - Jackson, MS

Doc, I owe how much?

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Health care spending now makes up almost 18% of our economy, and since 2002, premiums for company-sponsored insurance policies have increased 97%, according to Kaiser Health.

That's put a major burden on people who need medical services. "Just because it's a medical bill you think maybe they are going to have empathy. Nope. They look at it like they have to pay their bills," said Henry Corley.

Corley was attacked while cycling by an enraged motorist in February. The attack landed him in the hospital with a fractured skull and hefty out of pocket medical expenses. "We don't really know the exact figure right now because we haven't gotten all of our bills. I will say this. It's over 20."

As in $20,000. It's won't bankrupt Corley, but it does cause financial ruin for a lot of people. "There's some disagreement about this but some studies say when we look at bankruptcies, about 60% of them come from or are related to health care situations, whether it's medical bills directly or loss of income because you have some sort of injury or illness and can't work," according to financial analyst, Dr. Nancy Anderson.

She owns New Perspectives Financial Solutions in Ridgeland. Dr. Anderson says even health insurance is not the safety net it used to be. "You can have insurance. In fact, the people who declare bankruptcy because of health insurance issues or health issues, three-quarters of them have insurance. But because of out of pocket expenses or thing that are not covered, they still run into problems."

In fact, health care concerns dictate a substantial amount of our personal decisions. "We are the only developed country that has its health care attached to our employment. It's a distortion in our market because people are making decisions about where they will work, how long they will work, whether they can start their own business or not, based purely on the provision of health care. It's ridiculous."

Corley says the bills make no sense to him. "There were things on there, I still do not know what they were for. I read over the billing and the codes. It was very confusing," Corley said.

Confusing in addition to being very expensive for Corley. "I have existing conditions so I have a certain type of insurance and this certain type of insurance is going to pay certain things. So when this happened they paid their part, but it wasn't what a normal insurance company would pay and the rest is left up to you to pay."

While Dr. Anderson expects the costs of health care to continue to rise, she says she does at some point expect it to level off.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly