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Medical bill Despite widespread concern, there is only limited evidence on recent trends in medical debt, its distribution across individuals and how health policy has affected the distribution of medical debt.

The amount of U.S. medical debt is high, and it is greatest among people who live in the South and in ZIP codes with the lowest incomes.

This is the takeaway message from a JAMA original investigation based on consumer credit reports. Because of rising health care prices, increased cost-sharing and the fact that more than 26 million people are uninsured, the U.S. health care system leaves many consumers with high out-of-pocket costs. If these medical bills are not paid, the outstanding amount is classified as medical debt.

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