Medical Debt Rains Pain On Families, Even In the Sunshine State

At 85 years old, Alpha Edwards did not expect to be out of savings or to have $3,000 of credit card debt.

“I don’t do anything that costs money,” Edwards says. “I can’t.”

The problem started four years ago, when Edwards moved to Miami Springs, Fla., with her little brown dog. Her husband had recently died, and Edwards wanted to be closer to her daughter.

Edwards regularly sees doctors for her chronic lung disease and her pacemaker. And not long after she moved, she needed a cardiac procedure.

That’s when the bills started rolling in — thousands of dollars in medical bills.

“I remember crying all day, every day,” she says.

Edwards learned that one of the specialists she was seeing didn’t take her insurance.

At first, while she still had a few thousand dollars in savings, she made some payments. But when the money ran out, she stopped.


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