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Women, Children Gain Ground in Solving Medical Bill Problems

JAMA. 2013;310(3):252. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.8154.
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Estimates from the latest National Health Interview Survey offer a clearer snapshot of the 1 in 5 US residents younger than 65 years who are in families having problems paying their medical bills.

In the first half of 2012, the percentage of people younger than 65 years living in families troubled by medical bills decreased slightly, to 20.3%, compared with 21.7% in the first half of 2011. During that time, the percentage of adults aged 18 to 64 years with medical bill payment problems fell to 19.7% from 20.9%, and among children and teens younger than 17 years, the figure decreased from 23.7% to 21.8%. During 2011, women were more likely than men to be in families with problem medical bills. But the gap was bridged during the first half of 2012 as women made slight gains and men neither gained nor lost ground.

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