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High-Deductible Plans Driving Rise in Hospital Bad Debt

Hospital bad debt rose in 2018 after several years of decline, and according to Moody’s, high-deductible health insurance is one of the major drivers of that increase.

According to the bond rating agency, non-profit hospitals are seeing growing amounts of bad debt as they struggle, often unsuccessfully, to collect from patients whose high deductibles leave them on the hook for meaningful amounts of care.

Kaiser Health News reports that 28 percent of covered workers, nearly half of them working for companies with fewer than 200 employees, now have health plan deductibles of at least $2000.  That proportion of individuals with such high deductibles has nearly quadrupled in the last decade.

Bad debt can be an especially challenging problem for Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals because they care for so many low-income patients who, even when they have health insurance, often struggle to find the money to pay their share of the costs their plans do not cover.

Learn more about the bad debt challenge facing hospitals in the Healthcare Dive article “Nonprofit bad debt climbs again amid steeper deductibles, Moody’s says.”

Filed in Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals.

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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania