A survey in the US shows less reduction in worries about medical bills Health

The proportion of people in families who have difficulty paying their medical bills is declining, but the number is not declining as before, according to a large government study.

In a 2018 national survey, just over 14 percent of people said they belonged to a family struggling with those bills, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. This is a significant drop from almost 20 percent in 2011, but only slightly less than the proportion of those who reported the problem in 2016 and 2017.

Researchers have warned against reading too many results, in part because the survey does not reveal important details such as income levels or the size of bills that worry people.

But they said the smaller decline reflects broader health trends. Great is the slowdown due to the expansion of the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA offers subsidized private insurance for people who do not have access to a work plan. It has also expanded Medicaid coverage in many states. These expansions began in 2014.

“Over the last few years, the achievements of the Affordable Care Act have come to a plateau and in fact, depending on the data source, they look a bit blurry,” said Dr. Benjamin Sommers, a professor of health policy and economics at Harvard. .

He noted that the two most important factors that determine whether a family is difficult with medical bills are insurance coverage and income level.

The type of coating also matters. More plans require patients to pay thousands of dollars as deductibles or other out-of-pocket payments.

This may contrast with some of the successes that patients can gain in improving the economy, said Northwestern University economist David Dranov.

Neither Sommers nor Dranow participated in the CDC study.

Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics CDC also found that the percentage of people in families who worry about medical bills varies depending on factors such as race.

More than 20 percent of black respondents were in families with such concerns. That’s compared to 13 percent of whites, more than 15 percent of those who called themselves Hispanics, and 7 percent of Asians.

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