Defraying costs related to medical expenses can help people avoid going bankrupt and avoid the financial burden of medical bills, according to a new report from financial services firm Aon Hewitt.
Aon Hewett found that people in the top 1 percent of earners were among the least likely to be able to avoid financial ruin by defrayering medical expenses.
That was the case even for people earning between $30,000 and $60,000.
The study also found that those earning between between $50,000 to $100,000 were the most likely to have medical expenses defrayed by their employer, the highest rate among the top earners.
The study did not distinguish between those earning $100 or $200,000 or $250,000-plus.
“There are many reasons to defray medical costs,” said Dr. Andrew Pritchard, the research director for Aon.
“The average household spends over $5,000 a year on medical care, and the average household member will have over $2,000 in medical debt.
People can also defray the costs by purchasing health insurance or by buying other health-related items like prescription drugs, dental care and vision insurance.”
The study found that the average medical expense defrayer would have to spend $3,000 per year to avoid a bankruptcy, but would only have to pay about $4,000 for medical insurance and $5.25 for dental coverage.
For the top-income earners, Aon said, their medical expenses would be more than enough to pay off the medical debt, and they would be eligible for a medical savings account.
“If they were to take out a medical plan, it would pay off about 75 percent of their medical debt,” Pritich said.
The research is an extension of a previous study, published in January, that found that one in three people who have medical bills over $250 were able to take advantage of the tax breaks available to people who make more than $150,000, according the Aon study.
For people making more than a quarter of a million dollars, the cost of medical care is only $500 a year, the study found.
The cost of defragging medical expenses is typically paid by employers and insurers, but it can be expensive for individuals.
A survey of 3,000 consumers by the consulting firm Mercer found that a large percentage of those who paid medical bills said they were forced to make payments because of health problems or other medical problems.
The survey found that 41 percent said they had made some kind of medical payment.
In 2016, more than 1.5 million people had health insurance, the survey found.
In 2017, about 1.2 million people who had health coverage reported they paid a medical bill.
In the study, respondents were asked about their overall health and the financial impact of their bills, including whether they had any health issues, a chronic condition, an illness or injury and any chronic medical expenses that they paid for.
The questions were asked before or after they received medical bills.
The survey also found people with health insurance coverage had higher average costs for medical services than those without.
Among those with health coverage, the average annual out-of-pocket medical bill was $521, while those without coverage were paying $403.
The report did not look at people who were covered by Medicaid, which was expanded under President Trump to cover more people under the age of 65 in 2017.
But health care providers are generally wary of allowing people with medical conditions to avoid paying medical bills because of the risk of bankruptcy.
“People with health issues have to deal with the financial repercussions of medical expenses and can get into trouble if they don’t have the resources to pay it off,” said Beth Loeffler, the president of the American Medical Association, in a statement.
“Medicaid provides coverage for those with chronic medical conditions who need it, but the vast majority of Medicaid beneficiaries have no other health insurance and need to pay more out of pocket than if they were uninsured.”
For some, the pressure to pay medical bills is especially heavy because of life circumstances, such as a job loss, the stress of caring for a loved one and medical bills that are complicated by a job change or a new job.
The Aon survey found a similar number of respondents who reported they were not able to afford their medical bills in 2017 compared with the previous year.
“As our society becomes more and more reliant on technology and our ability to use it to our advantage, the importance of medical spending on health care has only increased,” said Elizabeth Clements, CEO of Aon Health Services, in the AON statement.