America's avalanche of medical debt
Americans' medical debt added up to about $140 billion last year, according to new research published Tuesday in JAMA. Americans owe debt collectors more medical debt than any other source of debt.
By the numbers: Looking at 10% of all credit reports from credit rating agency TransUnion, researchers said they found nearly one in five Americans had medical debt in collections in June 2020.
- The mean amount of debt was $429.
The big picture: Beyond this staggering economic sum — which works out to about $60 billion more than previous estimates — the study found a wide-reaching human impact.
- As the New York Times pointed out, the problem was concentrated in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.