QuickStats: Percentage of Persons in Families Having Problems Paying Medical Bills in the Past 12 Months,* by Age Group — National Health Interview Survey, 2011–2017

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The figure is a line graph showing the percentage of persons, by age group, who were in U.S. families having problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months, from 2011 to 2017.

* For the 2011–2017 National Health Interview Survey Family core component, a family respondent (i.e., an adult who was knowledgeable about the family) answered the question “In the past 12 months did [you/anyone in the family] have problems paying or were unable to pay any medical bills? Include bills for doctors, dentists, hospitals, therapists, medication, equipment, nursing home, or home care.” If the respondent answered “yes,” then all persons in that family were counted as being in a family having problems paying medical bills.

Estimates are based on interviews of a sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population and are derived from the National Health Interview Survey Family core component.

From 2011 to 2017, the overall percentage of persons who were in U.S. families having problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months decreased from 19.7% to 14.6%. Similar trends were observed for all age groups, with a decrease from 23.2% to 16.8% for children aged <18 years, from 20.6% to 15.5% for adults aged 18–64 years, and from 8.9% to 7.7% for those aged ≥65 years.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2011–2017 data. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.

Reported by: Emily P. Terlizzi, MPH, ljx9@cdc.gov, 301-458-4991; Amy E. Cha, PhD; Robin A. Cohen, PhD.


Suggested citation for this article: QuickStats: Percentage of Persons in Families Having Problems Paying Medical Bills in the Past 12 Months, by Age Group — National Health Interview Survey, 2011–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:334. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6814a6External.

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