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A giant wave labeled Debt looms over tiny figures The fact that many people lost jobs and income early on during the pandemic may have resulted in more difficulty affording medical care. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A new analysis of government data estimates that nearly 1 in 10 American adults — or approximately 23 million people — owe medical debt. What’s more, nearly half of those people (11 million) owe more than $2,000, and three million people owe more than $10,000.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) performed the analysis, which was based on data from the 2020 Survey of Income and Program Participation, a nationally representative survey that asks every adult in a household whether they owed money for medical bills in 2019 and how much they owe. It looked at people with medical debt of more than $250.

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