Patients often can’t afford to pay off what their insurance leaves behind

Research from accounting services firm Crowe found that self-pay-after-insurance patients (the deductible amount and/ or the residual amount due from the patient after insurance payment) represented nearly 60% of patient bad debt in 2021, a five-fold increase in just three years.

Since the introduction of high deductible health plans, this metric has been increasing, and 2021 was the first year self pay-after-insurance accounts were the leading source of bad debt for hospitals.

“The complexities of new insurance programs such as HDHPs, health savings accounts, and various Affordable Care Act ‘metal’ plans – for example, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum – have created confusion for patients and healthcare providers alike, as most of these newest options create greater out-of-pocket medical expenses for the patient,” said Brian Sanderson, a principal in the healthcare consulting group at Crowe, in a statement. “And the patient is paying less of it for a variety of reasons.”

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