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Health care (copy)

In 2014, 31 percent of respondents to a nationwide survey by the Federal Reserve reported forgoing some type of medical care because they were unable to afford it. That number declined to 27 percent in 2015 and 25 percent in 2016.

Of course, that number isn’t evenly distributed. Among those who weren’t insured in 2016, 41 percent reported going without some form of medical treatment due to cost in the preceding 12 months, compared with 23 percent of adults with insurance reporting the same.

In this same survey, 23 percent of respondents also reported having a major unexpected medical expense that they had to pay out-of-pocket in the previous year. For a variety of reasons — lack of insurance, low savings, high costs or other factors — a total of 24 million U.S. adults carried debt from a medical expense that they incurred in the previous year.

The median out-of-pocket cost was $1,000 for those who reported a major unexpected medical expense in the previous year. What was the average out-of-pocket cost?

A. $2,519

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B. $932

C. $1,970

D. $498

Answer: A. The average out-of-pocket cost for those reporting a major unexpected medical expense in the previous year was $2,519.

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— Kristin Runge, UW-Extension; kristin.runge@ces.uwex.edu; Twitter @RungeKristin

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