Health Care Debt In The U.S.: The Broad Consequences Of Medical And Dental Bills

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    • #492278
      • Total Posts: 11,935

      Debt due to medical and dental bills is a widespread issue in the United States, affecting both uninsured and insured adults. Health care related debt encompasses more than just unpaid or past due bills from providers. Substantial shares of adults carry debt from medical and dental bills that they have paid off by taking on other forms of debt, including credit cards, personal bank loans, or loans from family and friends. The KFF Health Care Debt Survey finds that four in ten adults have some form of health care debt. Yet the likelihood of having health care debt is not evenly distributed. Uninsured adults, women, Black and Hispanic adults, parents, and those with lower incomes are especially likely to say they have health care-related debt.

      Unexpected bills can be a major contributor to health care debt. Most adults with health care debt say the bills that led to their debt were from a one-time or short-term medical expense, which are often unexpected. Indeed, about half of adults – including three in ten of those who do not currently have health care debt – are vulnerable to falling into debt, saying they would be unable to pay a $500 unexpected medical bill without borrowing money. While about a third of adults with health care debt owe less than $1,000, even small amounts of debt can have significant financial consequences for some. Though a third of those with current debt expect to pay it off within a year and about a quarter expect to pay it within one to two years, nearly one in five adults with health care debt think they will never be able to pay it off.

      63% reduced spending on household necessities, and 1/5 – 1/2 did each of these: used up savings, increased credit card debt, worked more, skipped other bills, delayed education or home purchase, took out a loan, sought charity aid, moved in with family or friends.

      47% contacted by collection agencies, 35% lower credit score, 6% sued, 3% bankruptcy. 79% with debt skipped or delayed care or drugs due to cost (and 49% without). Half would be unable to pay an unexpected $500 medical bill.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #492326
      • Total Posts: 9,563

      The government these days cares about the concept of America, but doesn’t care about Americans.

      Maybe that’s where Ukraine learned it – the West cares about Ukraine, but not about Ukrainians.

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