Medical Debt the leading cause of Homelessness in South Florida

October 10, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Even with Obamacare still intact, a number of Floridians remain without health insurance.  Census surveys say that Florida has one of the highest uninsured populations in the nation, and of the top 25 metro areas, Miami ranks at the bottom three for healthcare coverage.

Medical debt now tops the list of reasons people become homeless in South Florida, according to a recent study. Drug addiction and mental health issues round out the top three.

The recent statistics come from addictions.com, where survey takers conducted in-person interviews with homeless people in South Florida this past July.  Interviewees overwhelmingly attributed hospital bills they could not pay or an addiction they could not overcome to the fact they were living on the streets.

Broward County’s homeless population has grown 6 percent since last year.  Of those surveyed, 42 percent said they had suffered a head injury and 33 percent said they had been beaten at one point while homeless.

In a number of states, the homeless have been helped by the expansion of Medicaid, and were able to receive healthcare for the first time in years.  Not the case in Florida, where state leaders denied the expansion of the program to cover 650,000 low-income residents.

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