Report Breaks Down Medical Debt Burden by Demographics, Geography

Perhaps not surprising to anyone, the older that people get, the more medical debt they tend to incur, according to a published report. Individuals who are 75 years old and older have, on average, $17,510 or medical debt, nearly double the amount that people who are under the age of 35 are carrying, according to data released last month by NiceRx.

But, on a net-net basis, the total amount of debt for both groups is likely close to the same amount, because the number of individuals carrying medical debt is more than twice as high for people under the age of 35 (17.5%) than it is for those over 75 (8.8%). The age group with the most debt is those between the ages of 45 and 54. More than one-fifth of people in that group have medical debt, and the average amount of debt is $15,390 per person.

Looking at the data based on household income instead of age, once you get past those earning the most money, the amount of people with medical debt and the average amount of debt were roughly the same. For those in the highest 20% of earners, 10.8% of people are carrying medical debt and the average balance is $18,950. For the other four quintiles, the percentage of people carrying medical debt ranged between 17.6% and 20.2% and the average balance ranged from $11,190 to $12,700.

West Virginia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma are the states that have the highest percentage of people with medical debt, while Minnesota, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Washington, and Vermont wee the states with the lowest percentage.

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