QoD: For those who struggle paying medical bills, what is the main cause: chronic illness or one-time event?

Apr 23, 2019
Insurance, Question of the Day

Answer: One-time event


  • Why do you think that one time or short-term medical expenses more frequently cause people to struggle with medical bills? 
  • What are steps that people can take to prepare for these unforeseen medical expenses? 
  • How does knowing this information impact how you think about health insurance? 

Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (Kaiser Family Foundation): 

Among those who report problems paying medical bills, two-thirds (66 percent) say the bills were the result of a one-time or short-term medical expense such as a hospital stay or an accident, while 33 percent cite bills for treatment of chronic conditions that have built up over time. These shares are similar for people who faced medical bill problems with and without insurance coverage.


Help your students understand the health insurance system with this NGPF Lesson: Health Insurance

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.