Florida, Texas see highest levels of medical debt among nation's largest states

More adults in Florida and Texas reported difficulties paying their medical bills than adults in California and New York, a recent Commonwealth Fund study found.

The report analyzed discrepancies in insurance coverage, care access and medical debt in California, Florida, New York and Texas, taking into account which provisions each state chose to implement under the ACA, like Medicaid expansion. The analysis included data from the 2016 Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey.

Here are four report findings.

1. Nationally, 37 percent of adults reported problems with medical debt.

2. Over the past year, 41 percent of Florida adults reported either difficulties with paying or inability to pay their medical bills. Forty-four percent of adults in Texas reported the same difficulties.  

3. In California and New York, the rate was lower, with 28 percent of adults in each state reporting issues with medical debt.

4. Study authors concluded the discrepancies may be "explained by several factors: whether the state expanded Medicaid eligibility; whether it ran its own health insurance marketplace; what the uninsured rate was prior to the ACA; differences in the cost protections provided by private health plans; and demographic differences." 

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