U.S. residents with private health insurance are less likely than other U.S. residents to have trouble with paying medical bills, but some do.
Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published that finding in a report on problems with paying for medical care.
The CDC researchers based the report on National Health Interview Survey data collected during the first half of 2011.
The researchers found that about 22% of all U.S. residents under age 65 were in families that had had trouble paying medical bills in the past 12 months.
The medical bill trouble rate was 36% for people who were uninsured, 28% for people enrolled in government health insurance programs, and 16% for people with private health insurance.
The share with medical bills that families could not pay at all was 23% for the uninsured, 18% for the government-insured, and 6.2% for the privately insured.
But the share that are currently paying medical bills over time was comparable for all three groups: 34% for the uninsured, 28% for the government-insured, and 27% for the privately insured.