Medical debt affects over 100 million Americans, here’s how to manage it

Jan 31, 2024, 3:00 PM

A bandaged piggy bank surrounded by blue pills spilling out of a prescription container. Coins sit ...



SALT LAKE CITY — According to the White House, 100 million Americans have medical debt. 

Shane Stewart, a DMBA Certified financial planner, gave some advice for managing medical debt on KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic. 

Stewart said the number one piece of advice is to be proactive. Talking to your healthcare provider before your bills are sent to a collections agency could help you set up a payment plan or negotiate the cost. 

“My experience has been [that] they’re willing to work some things out. Especially if they look at your income with the debt that you have. Just about every facility I know of has some sort of financial counseling office,” Stewart said. 

Oftentimes, facilities will offer patients a payment plan regardless of if they need it. 

Secondly, Stewart recommended visiting if you are underinsured or lack insurance.

Ideally, you should find a policy that fits your budget before you have medical needs. 

“You can even get subsidies if you can’t afford it,” Stewart said. 

When shopping for insurance, look for a policy with an out-of-pocket maximum. 

“[It] will cap out the year if you have something catastrophic happen,” Stewart said. 

According to the Patient Advocate Foundation, lump sum discounts may also be available. Sometimes, providers offer a discount if a patient can pay the total amount of their bill upfront. 

The Patient Advocate Foundation also recommended seeking care from providers within your insurance company’s network.

Shopping around for care is another option if you are not in an emergency. 

More from Dave & Dujanovic: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Chief of Police for Price City Police Department, Brandon Sicilie, holding PeeDee....

Britt Johnson

Abandoned puppy finds a home at the Price Police Department

PeeDee, a puppy found on the side of a roadway during a dispatch call, has found a new home with the Price City Police Department.

2 days ago

cdc sign shown, the agency updated its covid guidelines...

Brenda Goodman, CNN

CDC drops 5-day isolation guidance for COVID-19

The CDC says it’s updating its guidance for Covid-19 to bring it in line with its advice for other kinds of respiratory infections, including influenza and RSV.

2 days ago

baby feet, utah postpartum retreat helps new moms...

Britt Johnson

Utah company aims to help postpartum moms with special retreats

The founder of Utah Postpartum Retreat said she thinks new moms are at high risk for developing postpartum mood disorders because they lack support.

2 days ago

A nurse works in the laboratory room in El Nuevo San Juan Health Center at the Bronx borough in New...

Tammy Kikuchi

Skeptics have doubts about universal health care model for Utah

One of the biggest concerns is affordability, according to a recent presentation at the Kem C. Gardener Policy Institute.

4 days ago

FILE: Vietnam War veterans gather for a photograph following a ceremony to recognize and honor Viet...

Eric Cabrera

Veterans can soon sign up for the largest-ever expansion of VA health benefits

On March 5, vets who served in a combat zone, beginning with the Vietnam war, can directly enroll in VA healthcare.

5 days ago

Liver and kidney transplant patient Luis Campos says he's grateful he had a Spanish-speaking team....

Eric Cabrera

Murray kidney clinic helping the Latino community

MURRAY, Utah — Intermountain Health has taken steps to address healthcare in Latino communities by opening Utah’s first fully Spanish-speaking Kidney Transplant Clinic. The Intermountain Clinica Hispana de Riñon (Hispanic Kidney Clinic), in Murray, aims to provide a space for members of the Latino community navigating the complex kidney transplant process. The clinic has bilingual professionals, […]

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Medical debt affects over 100 million Americans, here’s how to manage it