Most Americans who negotiate a medical bill see it reduce or drop entirely: survey
About 93% of people who negotiate a medical bill have seen it reduce or drop entirely, according to a new survey by LendingTree, which highlighted the impact of medical debt on Americans.
The online loan marketplace discovered that medical debt has burdened about 60% of Americans. Rising care costs and shrinking insurance or a lack of coverage can swamp patients with debt, especially if they need a medical helicopter, which can, in some cases, result in bills topping $20,000.
About 23% of respondents said that they have dealt with medical debt in the past. However, about 37% are still dealing with it today.
The average American owes between $5,000 and $9,999, according to LendingTree data.
Emergency room visits are the primary reason Americans fall into debt. About 39% say that has been the case for them. Meanwhile, doctor or specialist visits, surgery, childbirth and dental care are other main reasons why people fall into medical debt.
As a result, 72% of those people who have had medical debt say they’ve been prevented from achieving major life milestones, such as buying a home or having kids. Some respondents also said the debt hindered their ability to save for retirement.
The LendingTree survey was conducted in February among 1,550 Americans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.