Chronic Conditions Leaving Consumers in Debt Regardless of Income

By Consumers for Quality Care, on November 2, 2022

Chronic Conditions Leaving Consumers in Debt Regardless of Income

A new study has found medical debt from chronic conditions impacts consumers across all levels of income, according to MedCity News

Researchers at Rutgers University analyzed data from 9,174 households and concluded treatment for prolonged and chronic conditions results in medical debt for consumers, regardless of household income. The study found the percentage of medical debt was 8.74 percent in lower-income households, 9.77 percent in middle-income households, and 4.6 percent in higher-income households.

Cancer treatment has historically been a major contributor to medical debt, but now, other chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and lung disease are causing consumers to incur medical debt.

Consumers with chronic medical conditions may incur medical debt for a variety of reasons, including not being able to work full-time, or at all, resulting in less wages earned to pay for expenses, as well as insurance plans that require consumers to pay out-of-pocket for costs associated with their care.

The burden of medical debt remains a reality for millions of Americans. Insurance must be required to act like insurance so that Americans don’t have to choose between medical treatment and medical debt.