Self-reported health status and medical debt

Patrick Richard, Nilam Patel, Yuan Chiao Lu, Pierre Alexandre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper examines the relationship between self-reported health status and medical debt outcomes using data from the 2013 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. There were two outcomes of interest: (a) the likelihood of having any medical debt, which included 4,227 households and (b) the amount of medical debt (medical debt > 0), which included 631 households. The results from the multivariate models showed that fair/poor health status increased the likelihood of having any medical debt by 73% and was associated with an increase in the amount of medical debt among those with medical debt by about 77% (p <.001) compared to those who reported better health. Poor health status appears to impose a financial burden on some households.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Health status
  • Household
  • Medical debt
  • Panel study of income dynamics


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