‘This Is Going to Bankrupt Me’: Americans Rack Up $45B Worth of Medical Debt in Collections

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Cathy Munzer is a single mother who lost her health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic. Munzer, who was a yoga and fitness instructor at two major gyms in Manhattan, was laid off in March and has struggled to find work.

Now her medical bills are in collections after she fell behind on payments from being treated in an emergency room for kidney stones.

After that, she began paying $200 per month for health coverage through Fidelis Care, a New York-based health insurance company, but it came with a $2,000 deductible. That’s increased her medical expenses further due to out-of-pocket costs. Every time she has visited a doctor since then she’s paid $150 per visit, she says.

“This is going to bankrupt me. My biggest fear is depleting my savings,” says Munzer, 53, who’s also been putting off oral surgery because her insurance won’t cover it. “What happens when unemployment runs out? How will I survive?”



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