Problems Paying Medical Bills, 2018

NCHS Data Brief. 2020 Feb;(357):1-8.


Previously published data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) found that in 2017 one in seven persons under age 65 was in a family having problems paying medical bills (1). Significant expenses for one family member may adversely affect the whole family (2). People who are in families with problems paying medical bills may experience serious financial consequences, such as having problems with paying for food, clothing, or housing, and filing for bankruptcy (3). Health insurance coverage status (i.e., uninsured, public coverage, or private coverage) may also impact the ability to afford health care costs (4). This report examines characteristics of persons who live in families that have problems paying medical bills.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Medicaid
  • Medically Uninsured / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medicare
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult