Consumers Are Getting Stuck with Mystery Medical Bills

Forty-percent of consumers surveyed say they received unexpected medical bills, and half of them never received a good explanation for why it happened, according to a study by the Altarum Institute. Thirteen percent of consumers with unexpected medical bills said that insurance didn’t cover anything, which led some to cover the full cost of care. Consumers who have more confidence navigating the health system are more likely to get the bill covered or get a good explanation of the bill. Those who are less confident end up paying more of the bill without understanding what the charges are for. Wendy Lynch of Altarum said, “We don’t know if consumers have always been hit with unexpected costs or if this is new. Because the ACA puts new pressure on hospitals, it’s possible that providers are finding new ways to add revenue by tacking on services.” For more information, visit

Last Updated 08/10/2022

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