Robert and Tiffany Cano of San Tan Valley, Ariz., have a new marriage, a new house and a 10-month-old son, Brody, who is delighted by his ability to blow raspberries.
They also have a stack of medical bills that threatens to undermine it all.
In the months since their sturdy, brown-eyed boy was born, the Canos have acquired nearly $12,000 in medical debt — so much that they need a spreadsheet to track what they owe to hospitals and doctors.
“I’m on these payment arrangements that are killing us,” said Tiffany Cano, 37, who has spent her lunch hours from her job at a regional bank on the phone negotiating payoff plans that now total $700 a month. “My husband is working four jobs. I work full time. We’re a hardworking family doing our best and not getting anywhere.”
The pair, who earn nearly $100,000 a year, are insured and have had no major illnesses or injuries. Still, the Canos are among the 1 in 4 Americans who report in multiple polls that the high cost of health care is the biggest concern facing their families. And they’re at risk of filing for bankruptcy; 62 percent of people who file do so, in part, because of medical bills.