List of States with Highest Medical Debt (USA)

States With Highest Medical DebtStates With Highest Medical Debt

Medical debt is a growing concern in the US. Many Americans are experiencing financial instability, to the extent of being bankrupt. When medical debt piles up, it can compel you to make difficult financial choices such as cutting back on food, clothing or other basic items. An unexpected hospital visit is the biggest contributor to medical debt, with nearly half the people surveyed stating medical bills as being the main reason to file for bankruptcy. Despite spending trillions of dollars on healthcare every year, the US continues to get increasingly in debt.

Unpaid Medical Bills by States

Here are state-by-state figures for the percentage of residents burdened with unpaid medical bills, or past due for payment, according to a survey by FINRA:

Unpaid Medical Bills by States

Unpaid Medical Bills by States

  • Mississippi – 41%
  • South Caroline – 31%
  • West Virginia – 31%
  • Georgia – 30%
  • Alabama – 29%
  • Arizona – 29%
  • Texas – 29%
  • Delaware – 28%
  • Louisiana – 28%
  • Indiana – 27%
  • Kansas – 27%
  • Missouri – 27%
  • North Carolina – 27%
  • Oklahoma – 27%
  • Alaska – 26%
  • Kentucky – 26%
  • Maine – 26%
  • Montana – 26%
  • Tennessee – 26%
  • New Hampshire – 25%
  • South Dakota – 25%
  • Wyoming – 25%
  • Idaho – 24%
  • Ohio – 24%
  • Nevada – 23%
  • Vermont – 23%
  • Virginia – 23%
  • Wisconsin – 23%
  • Iowa – 22%
  • Florida – 21%
  • Nebraska – 21%
  • Pennsylvania – 21%
  • Colorado – 20%
  • Illinois – 20%
  • Michigan – 20%
  • North Dakota – 20%
  • Oregon – 20%
  • Utah – 20%
  • Maryland – 19%
  • Arkansas – 18%
  • New York – 18%
  • Washington – 18%
  • Minnesota – 17%
  • Rhode Island – 17%
  • Connecticut – 16%
  • Massachusetts – 16%
  • New Jersey – 16%
  • New Mexico – 15%
  • California – 14%
  • Hawaii – 13%

States with Highest Medical Debt

Medical debt is one of those common problems which can affect regardless of gender, age, ethnicity and education levels. Even people who are considered to be financially stable can experience medical debt. So much so, that a government survey showed more than half of Americans with unpaid medical bills have no other debt listed on their credit report. Unpaid medical bills have become one of the most common factors that prevent people to buy houses or get a decent rate on a credit card.

Let’s take a closer look at how medical debt has affected the US with these surprising findings:

  • The average age of people filing for bankruptcy due to unpaid medical bills is around 44.9 years, according to a survey by the American Journal of Medicine in 2009.
  • Around 46.3% of people who have filed for bankruptcy due to unpaid medical bills are married, according to a 2009 survey by the American Journal of Medicine.
  • Around 60.3% of people filing for bankruptcy due to unpaid medical bills are college graduates, according to a report in the American Journal of Medicine in 2009.
  • From those who applied for medical bankruptcy, the average household income is around US$ 2,586 per month, according to a report published in 2009 by the American Journal of Medicine.
  • Out of all the households who have applied for medical bankruptcy, the average debt was around US$ 44,622.
  • On average, the unpaid medical debt recorded in credit reports is around US$ 579.
  • Out of the total consumers with debt, around 22% of consumers have a debt to be collated for medical bills only.
  • An astonishing 54% of consumers with unpaid medical bills have these as the only unpaid bills.

This is the stark ground reality of the unpaid medical bills in the US. This problem is increasing steadily every year. There is a vital need to stem this lest the situation gets out of hand.

Effects of Unpaid Medical Bills

Medical debt, and the worry of accumulating one, has resulted in severe problems for Americans. The biggest effect of unpaid medical bills is that it compels patients to avoid getting treatment for disorders and ailments. The problem is so severe that a survey found nearly 1 in 3 Americans saying that they have avoided getting medical care because they were worried about the cost and the resultant debt.

Effects of Unpaid Medical Bills

Effects of Unpaid Medical Bills

Unlike other industries, where consumers can turn to competitors if unsatisfied with a service, this is not easy in the medical field. A survey found that around 69% of adult Americans stated that it was difficult or very difficult to switch healthcare providers, especially when under medical debt. This is certainly a great cause for concern for state and federal government.

Conclusion

Unpaid medical bills have unfortunately become increasingly common. To avoid getting into medical debt yourself, it is highly recommended to search for alternatives, such as grants and funds for medical treatment and prescription drugs that are provided by numerous state, federal and private organizations.

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