(TheRedAlertNews.com) -More than 100 million people in the United States are burdened with medical debt, which significantly negatively impacts their quality of life and contains numerous risks.
Among the risks associated with medical debts are eviction, food insecurity, and bad health – and this applies to all debtors regardless of their income or health insurance, according to a new study by Kaiser Health News and NPR cited by Axios and Newsmax.
Low-income or uninsured Americans are those most affected by medical debt. Still, the study discovered that even the holders of private insurance have “little protection against unaffordable bills,” informed the study report published in JAMA Open Network.
“Private insurance is a defective product. You pay for it, and then when you get sick, there’s co-payments, there’s deductibles, there’s out-of-network fees, there’s things that aren’t covered at all,” commented physician Steffie Woolhandler, who is a co-author of the study and public health professor at Hunter College.
The researchers’ findings show that the over 100 million Americans who deal with medical debt may be forced to sacrifice groceries and other essentials or delay the health care they may need.
The highest levels of medical debt were found in the Southern States and low-income communities where Medicaid has not been expanded.
The average medical debt in the United States stood at $21,867 in 2018, based on the scholar’s analysis of data from the Survey Income and Program Participation of the Census Bureau.
Medically uninsured Americans had an average medical debt of more than $38,000, while for patients in poor health, the average stood at almost $43,000.
The residents of states with expanded Medicaid had an average of 3,000 less in medical compared with people in other states.
Compared with people without healthcare debts, those with medical debt were 2-3 times more likely to have difficulty paying rent or utility bills or to suffer eviction.
Black and Hispanic Americans were more likely to be in debt over medical expenditures, damaging their credit scores and ability to accrue wealth.
Even though back in April, the Biden administration announced measures for reducing Americans’ medical debt burden, those did not tackle the failure to expand Medicaid or the lack of medical insurance for many, according to another study, co-author Wes Yin, a professor of economics at UCLA.
Yin noted another problem concerning the Biden plan: allowing the salaries to determine the level of medical benefits.
Medical debt increases the risks of eviction, food insecurity, and bad health outcomes regardless of insurance or income, a new study found. https://t.co/BAQpcsvTMD
— Newsmax (@newsmax) September 19, 2022