Yin on National Burden of Medical Debt

Associate Professor of Public Policy Wesley Yin spoke to Verywell Health about the results of his research on the burden of medical debt in the United States. “Medical debt has become the largest source of debt and collections than all other sources combined,” Yin said, referring to recent research he co-authored that found 17.8% of individuals in the U.S. had medical debt in collections as of June 2020. “It just speaks to how important the expansion of Medicaid has been towards financial security, financial well-being, as well as reducing disparities in these communities,” he said. When medical bills are left unpaid, it can negatively impact an individual’s credit score and make it more difficult to qualify for loans. In order to curb medical debt, Yin recommended extending subsidies that would allow patients to purchase more affordable insurance plans with a smaller deductible. He also suggested expanding Medicaid, an approach that has been shown to reduce state spending.


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