Communities of Color Disproportionally Suffer from Medical Debt

Oct 14, 2022
Miranda Santillo, Breno Braga, Fredric Blavin, Anuj Gangopadhyaya for The Urban Institute
Medical debt is a critical challenge to Americans’ financial stability and well-being. People with medical debt are more likely to forgo needed medical care, have difficulty meeting basic needs, and face an increased risk of bankruptcy. Recent Urban research shows there are great disparities in who carries the most medical debt. Adults who live in communities where the majority of the population are people of color are more likely to have medical debt in collections reported on their credit reports. In particular, Black adults are more likely to have difficulty paying for family medical expenses. These inequities reinforce the racial wealth gap and contribute to disparities in health outcomes.
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