Did you know that over 79 million Americans struggle to pay medical bills? That's shocking! I was surfing the net today and ran across an article with the headline from statesman.com , "79 Million Americans Struggling To Pay Medical Bills" . The story features a woman who reconnected with her high school sweetheart during middle age; but soon lost him to liver disease. She then went broke trying to pay her spouse's medical bills. She eventually filed for bankruptcy, but not before she lost her home. Medical bills are a leading cause of financial stress in this country; but most people wait too long before they get help taking a serious inventory of their financial picture. Sometimes you can restructure or even settle medical debt; but you need to move fast. Once your medical bills go to a debt collection agency it will be much more difficult to negotiate a settlement. If you see that your medical bills are causing you to fall behind on payments for the financial essentials such as housing, food and savings for an emergency, it may be time to seek help from a professional debt counselor.