Over 30% of American Workers Struggle with Medical Debt

Last modified: February 25, 2021

A survey report from Salary Finance revealed that 32% of Americans are currently dealing with medical debt; 28% of them owe over $10,000 on their bills. The study gathered data from more than 2,700 working adults in the US who are working in companies with over 500 employees. 

According to the US CEO of Salary Finance, Dan Macklin, the survey respondents were among those who are employed and have health insurance coverage in place. Nevertheless, when asked if they ever failed to pay their medical debt, 54% of them said yes.

Therefore, Macklin concluded that despite the insurance people have, they still struggle to pay off their deductibles and overall healthcare expenses. He also said that the main reason for borrowing money was often related to medical debts, and this is true regardless of one’s income level. 

Based on BLS’ consumer spending data, US adults spend around $5,000 every year on out-of-pocket health costs. These include expenses on medical supplies, insurance, and prescriptions. Analysts further revealed that this spending is almost double the amount Americans spent on healthcare back in 1984. All the same, this makes sense as, since 2018, the cost of drug prices and medical care increased by 3% and 4.6%, respectively. 

Unsurprisingly, 45% of Americans admitted feeling stressed when thinking about their medical costs, whereas one-third of them reported that they skipped doctor visits to avoid health care costs. 

Macklin added that difficulties related to medical debt are happening at times when job growth is accelerating and the economy is following an upward trend. These macro trends are fascinating on the one hand, but the true situation faced by Americans is yet to be revealed. Salary may be going up but, at the end of the day, people will be staring at huge bills due to rising healthcare, homeownership, and education costs.

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