Many Americans who have had medical debt have attempted to negotiate their medical bills— and a majority have experienced positive results, according to a new survey.
About 93% of people who negotiate a medical bill have seen it reduce or drop entirely, according to a new survey by LendingTree, which highlighted the impact of medical debt on Americans.
The online loan marketplace discovered that medical debt has burdened about 60% of Americans. Rising care costs and shrinking insurance or a lack of coverage can swamp patients with debt, especially if they need a medical helicopter, which can, in some cases, result in bills topping $20,000.
About 23% of respondents said that they have dealt with medical debt in the past. However, about 37% are still dealing with it today.
The average American owes between $5,000 and $9,999, according to LendingTree data.
Emergency room visits are the primary reason Americans fall into debt. About 39% say that has been the case for them. Meanwhile, doctor or specialist visits, surgery, childbirth and dental care are other main reasons why people fall into medical debt.
As a result, 72% of those people who have had medical debt say they’ve been prevented from achieving major life milestones, such as buying a home or having kids. Some respondents also said the debt hindered their ability to save for retirement.
The LendingTree survey was conducted in February among 1,550 Americans.