Most Americans with medical debt owe more than $2K

About three in four Americans with medical debt owe more than $2,000 and more than four in 10 said they aren't prepared to take on surprise medical expenses, a Dec. 8 survey by Discover Personal Loans found.

The survey was conducted between Sept. 23 and 27 and included 1,515 Americans who are 18 and older.

Six additional findings from the survey:

1. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 32 percent had to cover emergency medical expenses.

2. Of those who already had medical debt, 53 percent reported taking on additional medical debt during the pandemic.

3. Sixty-three percent of respondents said they are anxious about paying for medical debt. Forty-seven percent said they are concerned about their health getting better.

4. Eight in 10 Americans with existing medical debt said because of the cost, they chose to delay medical care.

5. Many survey respondents said they skipped other financial commitments because of financial debt. At the top of the list were paying other bills and skipping vacations, both at 37 percent.

6. When making medical debt payments, 41 percent used their credit card, compared to 38 percent who used insurance.

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