World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Medical debt

Medical debt refers to debt incurred by individuals due to health care costs and related expenses.

Medical debt is different from other forms of debt, because it is usually incurred accidentally or faultlessly. People do not plan to fall ill or hurt themselves, and health care remedies are often unavoidable; medical debt is often treated with more sympathy than other kinds of debt resulting in advice that people ought not try to convert it to credit card debt.[1]

United States

Percentages of persons in families with selected financial burdens of medical care: United States, January–June 2011. From National Health Interview Survey.

Medical debt is an especially notable phenomenon in the NGOs without going into debt, and in most developed countries public coverage of healthcare costs are comprehensive. But in the USA, even when the patient has insurance coverage, including coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, considerable medical costs remain the patient's responsibility. Consequently, medical debt has been found by a 2009 study to be the primary cause of personal bankruptcy.[2][3]

A 2007 survey had found about 70 million Americans either have difficulty paying for medical treatment or have medical debt.[4] Studies have found people are most likely to accumulate large medical debts when they do not have health insurance to cover the costs of necessary medications, treatments, or procedures – in 2009 about 50 million Americans had no health coverage.[2] However, about 60% of those found to have medical debt were insured.[4] Health insurance plans rarely cover any and all health-related expenses; for insured people, the gap between insurance coverage and the affordability of health care manifests as medical debt. As with any type of debt, medical debt can lead to an array of personal and financial problems - including having to go without food and heat plus a reluctance to seek further medical treatment.[4][5] Aggressive debt collecting has been highlighted as an aggravating factor.[6] A study has found about 63% of adults with medical debt avoided further medical treatment, compared with only 19% of adults who had no such debt.[7]

According to a study conducted in 2012 by Demos that among indebted households 62% cited out-of-pocket medical expenses as a contribution to their debt.[8]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ LESLEY ALDERMAN (2009-06-05). "When Medical Bills Outpace Your Means, Seize Control Swiftly".  
  2. ^ a b "Medical Debt Huge Bankruptcy Culprit - Study: It's Behind Six-In-Ten Personal Filings".  
  3. ^ Himmelstein, D. U.; Thorne, D.; Warren, E.; Woolhandler, S. (2009). "Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study". The American Journal of Medicine 122 (8): 741–746.   See full text.
  4. ^ a b c Susan Heavey (2008-08-20). "Consumers face rising medical debt: survey".  
  5. ^ Lucie Kalousova, Sarah A. Burgard (2013). "Debt and Foregone Medical Care". Journal of Health and Social Behavior 54 (2): 204–20.  
  6. ^ O'Teele, Thomas P; Jose J Arbelaes, Robert S Lawrence, and The Baltimore Community Health Consortium (2004). "Medical Debt and Aggressive Debt Restitution Practices - Predatory Billing Among the Urban Poor". J Gen Intern Med (Society of General Internal Medicine) 19 (7): 772–778.  
  7. ^ Rich Daly (2005-10-21). "Working-Age Americans Bear Brunt of Medical Debt". psychiatryonline.org. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  8. ^ "How Employment Credit Checks Keep Qualified Workers Out of a Job". Demos. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  • Oklahoma Governor Signs Medical Debt Collection Bill insidePatientFinance.com, April 23, 2013.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.