Are you ignoring that strange pain? Have you opted to suffer with your symptoms rather than refill a prescription? Are you postponing a medical screening or checkup? If any of these risky decisions is the result of your financial struggles, you are not alone. If you are between the ages of 27 and 45, you may be among millions in your age bracket who have outstanding medical bills.

Medical bills are reportedly the most frequent expenses to go to collections. However, it is not uncommon for those with medical debt to also have other overdue bills, such as credit cards and mortgages. In fact, you may have no choice but to pay for a doctor visit with a credit card or risk letting your car payment go to collections to cover the medical expense. This places you and many of your generation in financial crisis mode.

Mounting trouble

You may be one who has struggled to find affordable health insurance and ended up with outrageous premiums and co-pays. In addition, while health care costs have skyrocketed in recent generations, income rates have not. You may be making only slightly more money than your parents while juggling student loans and family obligations on top of health care expenses.

Although more than half of all past due medical bills are $600 or less, nationwide that adds up to $81 billion in health care debt. More people your age are experiencing chronic health issues such as diabetes, and the cost of prescriptions is out of reach for many who need them. Add to that a sick child or devastating illness, and you may find your budget hopelessly spiraling.

An ounce of prevention

There are steps you can take to minimize the damage of health care costs. Obviously, taking good care of your health is essential for preventing long-term and chronic illnesses. Advisors also recommend having an emergency savings for unexpected medical expenses. In fact, having as little as $250 set aside may help you avoid losing your home.

Unfortunately, taking these steps when you are already drowning in medical and other debt can be frustrating and futile. You may find this is a good time to investigate your options for becoming debt free. A skilled and compassionate California attorney can review your circumstances and offer advice on the best options available for returning some peace of mind to your family.