Confronting a New Epidemic: Americans’ Chronic Medical Debt


It’s no secret that everyone’s pocketbooks are becoming tighter as inflation increases. But even as product prices go up, many Americans are already struggling with a chronic burden impacting their health and finances – medical debt.

A recent survey conducted by KFF found that medical debt is affecting over 100 million Americans, regardless of financial status. While other industries, like retail, have multiple payment solutions for those who need a little extra help, they’ve been lacking within the healthcare industry. 

To bridge that gap and innovate to better meet the needs of today’s healthcare consumer, we launched Gravie Pay™. It’s our new pay-over-time option that members can use to pay for their medical expenses – interest-free and at their own pace. 

Medical debt – a problem for many 

Many people struggle under the weight of medical debt, whether insured or not. According to the KFF survey, six in ten working-age adults with coverage have gone into debt getting medical care in the past five years, with a quarter of adults with healthcare debt owing more than $5,000. This financial hardship deters Americans from reaching their financial goals such as buying a house, saving for retirement, or investing in education. For many, it’s also making it harder to pay for the everyday necessities of life like food and clothing.

Medical debt can also prevent Americans from accessing much-needed healthcare services and can impact their health. About 1 in 7 people with medical debt said they’ve been denied access to a hospital, doctor or other provider because of unpaid bills, and about two-thirds of people have chosen to forgo medical care for themselves or a family member because of the cost. Eye-opening reports like this one on the current state of medical debt make it clear: we need to do better

Gravie Pay – a solution to the burden

Medical debt is daunting, and Gravie is here to make it less overwhelming, with solutions like Gravie Pay designed to empower members to prioritize their health without compromising their financial wellbeing.

While our Comfort™ plan boasts a robust list of no-cost services, Gravie Pay is another step in the right direction that can give members extra confidence knowing they have access to an interest-free, buy now, pay later service for a rare out-of-pocket expense. 

Gravie Pay has been in a pilot phase since August 2021, and we’re excited to announce that beginning September 1, Gravie Pay will be offered as a standard part of all Gravie health plans. 

With open enrollment approaching, consider making the switch to Gravie. Members and employers alike will have the comfort of knowing their costs are controlled, and their healthcare is covered. By pioneering new solutions like this, we continue to uphold our mission of keeping the focus on what matters most: the consumer.

To learn more about how Gravie is helping people get more healthcare while easing the burden of paying for medical expenses, contact us today.