Health care bankruptcies are on the rise, according to a new report.
The numbers reveal the U.S. is one of the most expensive countries in the world for medical bankruptcy, according a report from the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending.
More than $300 billion in medical bankruptry is owed by Americans each year.
The report comes at a time when states are struggling to find ways to pay back debts, and the average state is dealing with $30 billion in healthcare debt.
It’s the most recent report from CRL, which also analyzed debt, including bankruptcy, to gauge the burden on the economy.
The CRL report, which was released Tuesday, also highlighted the financial struggles of many Americans.
“Medical debt has become an increasingly difficult burden for many Americans to bear,” the report said.
The states with the highest medical bankruptries, according the report, were California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
A total of $1.4 trillion in healthcare debts is owed in those states.
The highest rate was in Michigan, where there were more than 2.5 million medical bankrupts, and in North Carolina where there are nearly 1.5 billion medical bankrupties.
“The medical bankrupt trend is a concern and a challenge, particularly in light of the severe financial strain facing many states,” said CRL’s president, Jennifer Hensley.
“These burdens are not just burdens on states and localities; they are burdens on families and communities.”
For many people, the cost of their healthcare can be the biggest obstacle in getting out of debt.
In California, for example, a person can have their healthcare coverage wiped out by bankruptcy.
“Many Californians who are struggling financially and without the financial means to pay their bills are forced to resort to bankruptcy,” the CRL study said.
“This may make it difficult for some people to obtain care that they need, including in urgent cases.”
The report found that California’s healthcare debt burden has grown faster than the rest of the country.
It has increased from $3.3 trillion in 2010 to $7.2 trillion in 2018, while in Texas, the debt burden increased from an average of $5.6 trillion to $9.2 billion.
“California’s healthcare industry has been facing increasing financial distress and significant financial losses in recent years, leading to a growing number of medical debtors,” the researchers wrote.
“There is no doubt that the current state of affairs has made it difficult to access necessary care and services.”
For a variety of reasons, the study found, healthcare debt is a growing burden for a significant portion of the population.
The study found that more than 40% of American adults aged 25 to 64 have some form of medical insurance, and 30% of those have some sort of private healthcare insurance.
In states with higher levels of healthcare debt, the median age of the adult population is over 60, and nearly one in five people in the country has some form to pay for medical care.
“For the vast majority of Americans, medical debt is not a financial burden, and it is not the reason why they have medical expenses,” said Jeanne Calment, CRL co-founder and chief executive officer.
“However, the increasing burden on people is causing many to feel that the cost is not worth it.”