Past-due medical debt in America
Medical debt can be a significant barrier to financial health. In 2012, nearly 30 percent of nonelderly adults said they had an outstanding, past-due medical bill. Since then, the economy has improved and health insurance coverage has increased, yet past-due medical debt still affects millions of people’s ability to build credit, to get the health care they need, and even to afford basic needs.
2015 prevalence of past-due medical debt
The share of nonelderly adults reporting past-due medical debt in the United States dropped from 29.6% in 2012 to 23.8% in 2015, a 5.8 percentage-point decrease.
The share of nonelderly adults reporting past-due medical debt in the United States did not change significantly between 2012 and 2015.
The largest percentage-point declines in past-due medical debt were among adults with household incomes of $50,000 or less and those with a high school education or less.
Past-due medical debt is concentrated in the south, where adults are also more likely to be uninsured and to be in poor health.
2012 prevalence of past-due medical debt