Why medical debt affects every corner of America

Noam N. Levey of KHN interviews with Sasha-Ann Simons of WBEZ on the sprawling medical debt crisis in the United States. Levey says the problem is only partially solved with recent moves by the three major credit bureaus to remove certain medical debts from consumers’ records. Much of that debt never reaches the credit bureaus, he says, because it’s hidden on credit cards or paid for with personal loans from friends or family.

Click here to hear Levey on WBEZ’s “Reset with Sasha-Ann Simons” on July 12.

Levey too interviews with Kate Archer Kent at Wisconsin Public Radio on the cost of health care in light of the Democrats’ latest plan to allow Medicare to regulate prescription drug prices. Levey outlines key insights from a KFF poll conducted for KHN Diagnosis: Debt project: The poor and uninsured carry the burden of medical debt, but so does a large portion of people earning more than $100,000 a year. And, he says, “most people in America who have medical debt have health insurance.” Half of adults surveyed said they didn’t have $500 to cover an unexpected medical bill. “So when you combine that,” Levey says, “with the fact that more people are on health insurance plans that require thousands of dollars of spending before coverage kicks in, you’re going to have a problem.”

Click here to hear Levey on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Morning Show” on July 13.

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This article was taken from khn.org Courtesy of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy research organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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John A. Bogar