A Debt.com poll shows fewer Americans have medical debt, but inflation has slowed their payments – so they’re delaying the care they need.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say inflation hasn’t just hurt their pocketbooks, it’s now hurting their health. A new Debt.com poll shows 57 percent agreed that “inflation has made it harder to pay my medical bills.”
Even worse, nearly 28 percent of the 500 respondents said they’ve been “avoiding medical care” because of what they already owe.
“We tend to think of inflation as annoying instead of dangerous,” Debt.com President Don Silvestri says. “But inflation means more than higher food and gas prices. It pervades everything we spend money on – including our physical health.”
Americans were already struggling with medical debt before inflation became a major financial problem. When Debt.com conducted the same poll last year, about half of the respondents said they have outstanding medical debt – the same result as this year.
Yet they owe less than last year. Even so, that smaller number has proven harder to pay off.
In 2021, 80 percent of adults owed more than $500. This year, only 40 percent owe that much. The biggest debts are coming from the smallest expenses – like doctor’s visits and prescription drugs, instead of hospitalizations or surgeries.
Even though the debt is smaller, over a quarter of adults have had their medical bills sent to collections. While inflation has made it harder to pay off medical debt, lenders are less willing to compromise in these uncertain economic times. More than 3 in 10 respondents tried to negotiate the cost of their bills, but most weren’t successful.
This shouldn’t stop Americans from seeking medical help. If inflation is eating away at your income, Silvestri says there are better options than cutting back on healthcare.
“Your health is a priority not just for you, but for your family,” Silvestri says. “If you don’t see a way to pay for your healthcare, then get another set of eyes on the problem – expert eyes. Call Debt.com and get a free debt analysis. By the end of that call, you’ll know exactly where you stand.”
ABOUT: Debt.com is the consumer website where people can find help with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, credit repair, bankruptcy, and more. Debt.com works with vetted and certified providers that give the best advice and solutions for consumers ‘when life happens.’