Families struggle with medical debt after loved ones die

Medical debt burdens families even after death
Posted at 5:53 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 19:32:43-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the last week the usually bustling store front of Rae's Gourmet Sandwich shop in downtown Nashville has sat quiet after beloved owner Daniel Malone lost his battle to cancer last week.

On Tuesday, still dealing with their grief, Malone's family made the decision to reopen the sandwich shop that has been a Union Street staple for years. Customers were nearly lined up out the door during the afternoon rush as Malone's daughter-in-law, Alice, tried to keep up with orders coming in.

"It's been incredibly busy today," she said as she shuffled a Reuben sandwich through her hands.

As a small business owner, Daniel Malone did not have insurance. Like thousands of other Americans, his family has now learned how crushing the debt from extended hospital stays can become.

Even after losing Daniel last week, his family now owes more than $600k in medical expenses related to Daniel's cancer treatment.

"Every time you have to talk to someone, a debt collector or someone calls about those bills it just brings it up again, it's hard. Some of the bills still haven't even come in yet," Alice said as she rung up another customer.

In an effort to help with medical expenses, a GoFundMe has been setup for Daniel Malone's family.