Los Angeles County residents owe $2.6B in medical debt

Los Angeles County residents had more than $2.6 billion in outstanding medical debt as of 2021, according to a June 2023 report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. 

Six details: 

1. A total of 10.2 percent of Los Angeles County adults reported burdensome medical debt in 2021, compared to 8.4 percent in 2017. In 2019, 10.8 percent of adults reported burdensome medical debt. 

2. A total of 30.2 percent of those with burdensome medical debt owed less than $1,000 and 11.3 percent owed more than $8,000.

3. Half of adults with medical debt took on credit card debt to pay medical bills and 46 percent said they were unable to pay for necessities because of medical bills. 

4. Adults ages 30 to 49 were the most likely to face medical debt burden (11.9 percent), followed by those ages 50 to 56 (11.4 percent). 

5. Households with children (12.6 percent) were more likely to face medical debt burden than those without (9.2 percent). 

6. Among residents who had private insurance, those with a deductible greater than $1,000 were more likely to face a medical debt burden (15.2 percent), than those with a deductible less than $1,000 (7.2 percent). 

Read the full report here.

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