The debt of American consumers

Despite recent advances in health care policy, American households continue to struggle with medical debt, and it’s only getting worse.

Americans are putting more of their take-home pay toward medical costs than ever before.

American Consumers Can Not Afford Their Medical Care

Medical debt is the largest category of consumer debt in collections.

NerdWallet Health estimates almost 1 in 5—or roughly 51 million—American adults may be contacted by a debt collection agency about medical debt in 2014.

$21 billion in medical debt was collected from American consumers in 2012. More than $1 in every $3 paid to third-party collectors is for medical debt.

Medical debt collected by third-party collections agencies is roughly three times as large as financial and credit card debt combined.

NerdWallet estimates that in 2014, American hospitals will provide over $50 billion worth of “uncompensated care,” or hospital care for which no payment is received from the insurer or patient.

63% of American adults indicate they have received medical bills that cost more than they expected, according to an August 2014 NerdWallet Health nationwide survey conducted by Harris Poll.

Article Source: NerdWallet 

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