September 20, 2014 — Report

A Review of Hospital Financial Assistance Policies in the States

The collective scope and impact on consumers from medical debt is enormous. According to the Commonwealth Fund, nearly 75 million working age adults (or about 41%) experienced problems with medical bills in 2012. In addition, 41 million adults (or about 22%) were contacted by a collection agency for unpaid medical bills. While the Affordable Care Act will help by expanding insurance coverage for millions of Americans, medical debt will still remain a problem for many. Medical debt often afflicts consumers with insurance in the form of uncovered expenses, insurance denials, co-pays, deductibles and even billing errors. A landmark study noting the relationship between bankruptcy and medical expenses found that 75% of these “medical bankruptcy” debtors had health insurance coverage at the onset of illness.