Listen: Why Medical Debt Is Touching Every Corner of America

July 15, 2022

Noam N. Levey of KHN talks to Sasha-Ann Simons of WBEZ about the expanding medical debt crisis in America. Levey explains that the problem is only partially addressed with recent moves by the three major credit reporting agencies to remove some of the medical debt from consumer records. Much of this debt never makes it to the credit bureaus, he says, because it’s 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 also talks to Kate Archer Kent of Wisconsin Public Radio about health care costs in light of Democrats’ most recent plan to allow Medicare to regulate prescription drug prices. Levey outlines key insights from a KFF survey conducted for KHN’s Diagnosis: Debt Project: The poor and uninsured bear medical debt, but so do a large portion of those earning more than $100,000 a year. And, he says, “most people in America with medical debts have health insurance.” Half of the adults surveyed said they don’t have $500 to cover an unexpected medical bill. “So when you combine that,” Levey says, “with the fact that more people have health insurance needing thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses before coverage kicks in, you get a problem.”

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

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national editorial that produces in-depth journalism on health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operational programs of KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed non-profit organization that provides information on health issues to the nation.


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