How Much Does the Average American Pay Out of Pocket for Healthcare?

Out-of-pocket healthcare expenses have been growing at an average annual rate of 4.3%. Learn about financing options & common terms on medical bills.

How Much Does the Average American Pay Out of Pocket for Healthcare?

Out-of-pocket health care expenses have been growing at an average annual rate of 4.3 percent. Money market accounts are similar to savings accounts, but they also offer some checking features. Home equity is the part of your home that you have paid for and can be used to borrow for other financial goals. When it comes to managing your healthcare costs, it's important to look for an expert who knows the market and compare trusted real estate agents in one place.

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The content created by our editorial team is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers. Health insurance can reduce some of the cost of medical bills, but even with insurance, many of the necessary health care events can involve large out-of-pocket costs. The latest data released by Peterson-KFF reveals that out-of-pocket health care expenditures increased 10.3 percent year-on-year, a trend that is likely to continue as prices soar due to high inflation. If health care costs are too high for you to comfortably afford, you may need help financing out-of-pocket expenses. Some possible options include using a personal loan to cover additional expenses or even a debt consolidation loan to combine several debts. Many Americans, even those with employer-sponsored health coverage, are susceptible to high levels of medical debt. In addition to paying a premium each month, a person must pay out of pocket a fixed amount before coverage, also known as a deductible, takes effect.

While coverage means lower costs for providers and network prescription drugs, an unexpected medical bill can take years to pay. According to a recent Kaiser Institute survey, 24 percent of adults surveyed said they currently have medical or dental debts that they can't pay off. The situation is even worse for Americans without health insurance, who often use personal loans or credit cards - which may have interest rates above 20 percent - to finance their expenses. However, the way in which people finance their medical debt is nuanced and based on factors such as gender, socioeconomic status and race. The KFF survey revealed that people with higher incomes are more likely to apply for a personal loan while people with lower incomes are more likely to borrow from family or friends. When it comes to Americans with health insurance - both public and private - those age 65 and older are the population with the most coverage while those between 26 and 34 years old have the least coverage. This is how disparities in health coverage in the country - disaggregated by race - manifest themselves. Deciphering all of the out-of-pocket spending terms and what they mean for your pocket can be confusing so we've broken down the most common terms you can expect on your next medical bill. The Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker found that people age 55 and older account for the majority of the amount spent on healthcare despite representing only 30 percent of the population - this age group accounted for 56 percent of total health spending in recent years. While health expenses can be high, you may be able to finance these costs in one or more ways.

People often use personal loans to finance significant or unexpected medical bills after discussing all their payment options with the hospital - lenders can disburse funds within a few days.

Yvonne Wertheim
Yvonne Wertheim

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