CDC: Americans getting better at paying medical bills

For the fourth straight year fewer Americans are struggling to pay medical bills, according to a government survey.

Data from the CDC indicate the number of Americans in households facing problems paying medical bills decreased by 12 million from 2011 to 2015.

The National Health Interview Survey reveals that a majority of this progress has come from low-income families and those who gained coverage through Medicaid expansion over the past four years.

In 2011, 15.2 percent of not-poor persons lived in households struggling to pay medical bills compared to 12.2 percent of not-poor persons within the first six months of 2015. For the survey, not-poor persons have incomes of 200 percent of the poverty threshold or greater.

Among those below the poverty threshold, the share facing medical payment problems fell from 32.1 percent to 24.5 percent over the same time period.

Estimates for 2011–2014 were based on full years of data and the 2015 estimates were based on data collected during the first six months of 2015.

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