January 18, 2023
  • A new Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) report shows that fewer individuals had difficulty paying medical costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to National Health Interview Surveys, 10.5 million fewer people were in families having problems paying medical bills in 2021 than in 2019 — amounting to a 3.2 percentage point decline. Researchers said that pandemic relief legislation may have indirectly softened the blow of medical debt by providing monetary payments, increasing the percentage of people covered by insurance using COBRA premium subsidies, and expanding eligibility for ACA subsidies. Simultaneously, the decline in doctors visits, elective procedures, and outpatient care may have reduced the odds of incurring debt through fewer copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. (Report here)