How Financially Vulnerable are People with Medical Debt?

This analysis of government data finds that people with medical debt are much more likely to have other forms of financial distress than those without medical debt, like having no “rainy day” fund, overdrawing a checking account, or relying on costly loans.

Medical debt is associated with financial vulnerability across a range of other indicators and can cause people to delay or forgo needed medical care due to cost.

The analysis relies on data from the 2021 National Financial Capabilities Survey. The survey uses information from more than 27,000 adults in each state and D.C.

The analysis is available through the KFF-Peterson Health System Tracker, an online information hub that monitors and assesses the performance of the U.S. health system.

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