One Third of Kansas City Residents Have Medical Debt

The Kansas City Star points to a county-by-county study form the Urban Institute which found that in some parts of the Kansas City area, almost one in three households has medical debt in collections.

The persistence of medical debt is something lawmakers will have to address after they’ve finished haggling over the Affordable Care Act — the 2010 health insurance law commonly called Obamacare that Democrats want to shore up and most Republicans want to repeal.

More Americans are insured since the law passed and there’s some evidence that the law reduced bankruptcies due to catastrophic medical costs.

But for most Kansas City residents, it’s relatively routine medical bills that put them in collections, not five-figure debts for things like surgeries or extended hospitalizations.

The Urban institute study is in line with a Kaiser Health Tracking poll which showed that 45% of respondents said they would struggle to pay a surprise medical bill if it was more than $500, and would have to either put it on a credit card, borrow money to pay it or not be able to pay it at all.

For more information on the issues surrounding medical debt, please contact RIP Medical Debt.