It seems that “32 percent” is the number of the day today. First, actuaries believe that medical claims costs will go up 32 percent, and now the Centers for Disease Control tells us that 32 percent of U.S. families are having trouble paying their medical bills:

(Centers for Disease Control)
(Centers for Disease Control)

Nearly one in four children ages birth to 17 live in families that are struggling to pay medical bills, according to CDC data from the National Health Interview Survey, from January – June, 2011.

Here are more findings. In the first six months of 2011:

  • one in three persons was in a family experiencing financial burden of medical care
  • one in 5 persons was in a family having problems paying medical bills
  • one in 4 persons was in a family paying medical bills over time
  • one in 10 persons was in a family that had medical bills they were unable to pay at all

The CDC has more sobering charts here.

Chart of the Day: Health Care’s ‘Financial Burden’ on Families 29 March,2013Lisa Aliferis


Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED’s State of Health blog. Since 2011, she’s been writing and editing stories for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years (more than we can count) producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco’s CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. Her work has been honored for many awards. Most recently she was a finalist for “Best Topical Reporting” from the Online News Association. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

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