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New families struggle to pay medical bills

baby emma.JPG
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 20:17:35-05

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Sitting with her daughter Emma in their Hendersonville home Kelsey Socaciu is laying the foundation for her young daughter’s life.

The two spend Kelsey’s days off reading or playing together, time that this new mom is grateful for. But while Emma is perfectly happy and healthy now, that wasn’t the case when she was born last year.

“She had amniotic fluid in her lung, something that is actually pretty common,” Kelsey said.

That meant Emma had to spend four extra days in the emergency room. Those four extra days meant Kelsey and her husband would end up owing more than $15,000 in medical bills for the birth of their new daughter.

“That’s a lot of money. It is a lot of money. I don’t know how they expect people to pay for that,” she said.

Kelsey and her husband have health insurance so they thought a majority of their expenses would be covered but the couple has had to sell both of their cars to keep up with the $600 they owe in monthly payments

It's the reality for countless new families across Tennessee buried under medical bills. And for Kelsey and her husband the realization that maybe having another kid might have to wait.

“You talk to people and they say I’m still paying on mine so it’s just assumed you’ll just be paying on them forever.”

Last year Americans had more than $81 billion in combined medical debt. Click here to learn more about NewsChannel 5's medical debt rescue program.