QuickStats: Percentage of Families That Did Not Get Needed Medical Care Because of Cost by Poverty Status

June 12, 2020

The percentage of all families that did not get needed medical care because of cost in the past 12 months decreased from 12.1% in 2013 to 9.7% 2018.

From 2013 to 2018, the percentage of poor families that did not get medical care decreased (22.7% to 17.3%) as did the percentage of near-poor families (20.4% to 16.0%); no significant change occurred for not-poor families (7.1% and 6.6%).

In 2013 and 2018, the percentage of families that did not get needed medical care because of cost was lowest among the not poor.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2013 and 2018 data. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6923a4.htm


Problems Paying Medical Bills, 2018

February 12, 2020

Questions for Amy Cha, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Problems Paying Medical Bills, 2018,”

Q: What was the significance of studying persons in families having problems paying medical bills?

AC: 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. Persons who are in families with problems paying medical bills may also experience serious financial consequences, such as difficulties paying for food and housing, or filing for bankruptcy.


Q: How did the data vary by gender, race and age groups?

AC: The percentage of persons who were in families having problems paying medical bills was higher among females, children aged 0-17 years, and non-Hispanic blacks than among males, adults, and other racial and ethnic groups, respectively.


Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you?

AC: We were surprised that almost 30% of uninsured children and 27% of uninsured adults (aged 18-64) were in families having problems paying medical bills.


Q: How did you obtain this data for this report?

AC: The data for this report came from the 2011-2018 NHIS, a nationally representative, household survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population. NHIS is a multipurpose health survey conducted continuously throughout the year by the National Center for Health Statistics. Most interviews are conducted in person in respondent’s homes.


Q: What is the take home message for this report?

AC: The percentages of persons who were in families having problems paying medical bills varied by health insurance type. Among persons under age 65, those who were uninsured were more likely that those with Medicaid or private coverage to have problems paying medical bills, and among adults aged 65 and over, those with Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicare only were more likely than those with Medicare Advantage or private coverage to have problems paying medical bills.


QuickStats: Percentage of Persons in Families Having Problems Paying Medical Bills in the Past 12 Months by Age Group

April 12, 2019

From 2011 to 2017, the overall percentage of persons who were in U.S. families having problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months decreased from 19.7% to 14.6%.

Similar trends were observed for all age groups, with a decrease from 23.2% to 16.8% for children aged 18 years or younger, from 20.6% to 15.5% for adults aged 18–64 years, and from 8.9% to 7.7% for those aged 65 years or older.

SOURCE: National Health Interview Survey, 2011–2017 data. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6814a6.htm