Medical debt can be the leading cause of bankruptcy, but it is hobbling Americans in other ways.
About 137.1 million U.S. adults reported medical financial hardship in the last year, per a recent study which also noted the psychological and behavioral toll health care costs can take.
A new survey by Zillow revealed medical debt more commonly keeps Americans from purchasing or renting a home than other types of debt like student loans or credit card debt, reports Bloomberg.
Close to 40 percent of people who have medical debt have been denied a mortgage loan or the opportunity to rent – a higher rejection rate than for other kinds of debt, per Bloomberg.
The survey, which polled 13,000 adults, also found 1 in 5 potential Millennial buyers are bogged down by medical debt and student loan debt.
Medical debt is hurting the credit scores of about 43 million Americans, reports The Atlantic, and medical expenses comprise half of overdue debt. In 2017, 1 in 6 people in the U.S. got an unexpected out-of-network bill despite having insurance.
The New York Times has reported ambulances tend to be the biggest culprit when it comes to unexpected, out-of-network medical bills, followed by the emergency room and elective inpatient visits.