The burden of out of pocket costs and medical debt faced by households with chronic health conditions in the United States

Patrick Richard*, Regine Walker, Pierre Alexandre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction To examine the relationship between chronic health conditions and out-of-pocket costs (OOPC) and medical debt. Methods Secondary data from the 2013 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) was used. Households whose head of household and spouse (for married households) were 18 to 64 years old were included. Results Households with 1 to 3 chronic conditions had higher odds of having any OOPC compared to households with no chronic conditions (AOR 1.74, 95% CI 1.39, 2.17) (p < .01). Households with 1 to 3 and 4 or more chronic health conditions were associated with higher odds of having any medical debt (AOR 2.24, 95% CI 1.75 to 2.87; AOR 5.04, 95% CI 3.04 to 8.34) compared to those with no chronic conditions (p < 0.01). Similarly, 1 to 3 and 4 or more chronic health conditions was associated with higher amounts of OOPC (Exponentiated Coefficient 1.18, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.36; Exponentiated Coefficient 1.56, 95% CI 1.17 to 2.07) and medical debt (Exponentiated Coefficient 1.69, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.34; Exponentiated Coefficient 2.73, 95% CI 1.19 to 6.25) compared to households with no chronic conditions (p < 0.05). Conclusions Findings from this study show that the presence of chronic health conditions impose a large financial burden on some households.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0199598
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

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