Most Americans who got COVID-19 or lost income during pandemic also struggled with medical debt

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More than half of American adults who contracted COVID-19 or lost a job because of the pandemic are also struggling with medical bills, according to a report released July 16 by the Commonwealth Fund.

The Commonwealth Fund partnered with survey research firm SSRS, which interviewed a nationally representative sample of 5,450 adults ages 19 to 64 from March 9 through June 8.

Below are five of the report's other notable findings:

  1. Fifty-five percent of Black adults and 44 percent of Latinx adults said they had medical bill issues and/or medical debt, compared to 32 percent of white adults.

  2. Half of uninsured respondents and 36 percent of insured respondents said they had a medical bill problem or were paying off medical debt.

  3. Six percent of working-age adults said they lost their employer health insurance because of pandemic-related job loss.

  4. An estimated 10 percent of Americans ages 19 to 64 were uninsured during the first half of 2021.

  5. Among respondents with issues related to medical bills and debt, 35 percent used up all or most of their savings, 35 percent took on credit card debt, 27 percent had been unable to pay for basic necessities, and 23 percent delayed education or career plans.
 

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