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Inflation Is Making Us Sick, Physically and Financially


Published’s annual survey shows Americans are falling behind on their medical bills – and even forgoing medical care.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — If inflation isn’t making you sick, it might be keeping you sick.’s 2023 medical debt survey shows some worrisome increases over its 2022 results:

  • This year, 67% reported that “inflation made it harder to pay medical bills.” That’s a significant jump from 57% the year before.
  • Nearly a third (32%) said their medical bills were in collections this year. Last year, it was only 28%.
  • Most concerning of all: 34% admitted they have been “avoiding medical care because of debt” – up from 28% in 2022.

“Inflation may be subsiding, but the damage it wrought will stay with us for a long time,” says founder and chairperson Howard Dvorkin, CPA. “Medical debt was a growing problem before inflation, even before the pandemic. Now it’s becoming a crisis.”

The problem is so pervasive, it’s no longer a major illness that causes financial problems. It’s regular appointments with doctors – even more than going to the hospital or emergency room:

2023 primary source of medical debt

  • Doctor’s visit: 21%
  • Hospitalization: 17%

2020 primary source of medical debt

  • Doctor’s visit: 15%
  • Hospitalization: 25%
The latest poll of 1,000 U.S. adults reveals an alarming increase in the number of people struggling to pay for medical services and they are putting off seeing the doctor because of it.

The only good news in this year’s survey is that the amount of medical debt is lower than in past years:

2023 medical debt amount

  • Less than $500: 56%
  • $1,000 to $5,000: 15%

2020 medical debt amount

  • Less than $500: 20%
  • $1,000 to $5,000: 34%

Dvorkin believes these results show Americans are so financially stressed, they can no longer afford even the basic medical care. “Medical debt doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s quite likely that doctor’s visits have become harder to pay because Americans have many other debts they’re juggling. Credit card balances are approaching levels not seen in decades, and student loans aren’t getting any smaller. Add in regular checkups, and it’s a cumulative and pervasive problem.”

Even worse, Dvorkin says these numbers reveal that Americans are unaware of the proven methods to help with medical debt – from payment plans to debt settlement. “Today, most people are aware of their credit scores, and they understand the impact of high interest rates on their credit cards. They’re even learning about their options for lowering student loan payments. But they don’t know how to handle their medical bills. And that’s just not good for their health.”

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