Fewer Americans are having problems paying medical bills

The number of persons under the age of 65 who have trouble paying medical bills decreased for the fourth consecutive year, going from 56.5million in 2011 down to 44.5 million in the first half of 2015 – a 4.8% drop, according to a newly released report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Half of that four-year period has coincided with the launch of the Affordable Care Act, and most of the people who have benefitted from it are poor and with government coverage, as opposed to middle-class with private insurance. Then again, and by their very definitions, middle-class has had fewer problems paying medical bills than low-income individuals.

Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2011-June 2015

 

2011

First 6 months of 2015

Persons under age 65 in families with problems paying medical bills

21.3%

16.5%

Males under age 65 in families with problems paying medical bills

20.5%

15.8%

Females under age 65in families with problems paying medical bills

22.1%

17.3%

Children aged 0-17 years in families with problems paying medical bills

23.2%

18.1%

Adults aged 18-64 in families with problems paying medical bills

 

20.6%

15.9%

Persons under age 65 who were uninsured in families with problems paying medical bills

 

35.7%

29.8%

Persons with public coverage in families with problems paying medical bills

27.8%

21.8%

Persons under age 65 with

private coverage in families with problems paying medical bills

14.9%

12.7%

Poor persons under age 65 in families with problems paying medical bills

32.1%

24.5%

Near-poor persons under age 65 in families with problems paying medical bills

34.6%

27.1%

Not-poor

persons under age 65 in families with problems paying medical bills

15.2%

12.2%

Hispanic persons under age 65 in families with problems paying medical bills

24.3%

20%

Non-Hispanic white persons under age 65 in families with problems paying medical bills

19.8%

14.7%

Non-Hispanic black

persons under age 65 in families with problems paying

medical bills

27.3%

23.1%

Non-Hispanic Asian persons under age 65 in families with problems paying medical bills

11%

6.7%

Within each year…

  • Females were more likely than males to have been in a family having problems paying medical bills.
  • Children were more likely than adults aged 18-64 to be in families having problems paying medical bills.
  • Persons under age 65 who were uninsured were more than twice as likely as those who had private coverage to be in families having problems paying medical bills.
  • Persons under age 65 who were uninsured were more likely than those who had public coverage to be in families having problems paying medical bills.
  • Persons under age 65 who had public coverage were more likely than those who had private coverage to be in families having problems paying medical bills.
  • Persons under age 65 who were poor or near-poor were twice as likely as those who were not-poor to be in families having problems paying medical bills.
  • Among persons under age 65, Hispanic persons were more likely than non-Hispanic white persons or non-Hispanic Asian persons, and less likely than non-Hispanic black persons, to be in families having problems paying medical bills.
  • Among persons under age 65, non-Hispanic white persons were less likely than non-Hispanic black persons and more likely than non-Hispanic Asian persons to be in families having problems paying medical bills.
  • Among persons under age 65, non-Hispanic black persons were more likely than non-Hispanic Asian persons to be in families having problems paying medical bills.

And remember, if you are among the number of Americans who do struggle paying medical bills, and in addition have trouble affording medical supplies for home care, Discount Medical Supplies has the guaranteed lowest prices on most products.

Related: How much will you pay for Medicare Part B premiums in 2016?