Florida's oldest residents face the nation's biggest burden of medical bills, according to a new study.
What's happening: 14% of seniors in Florida — which has one of the largest populations of adults age 65 and older in the U.S. — have outstanding medical debt, a report by Alignment Health found.
- 34% of those owe a total equivalent to three months or more in living expenses, compared to 27% of their peers nationwide.
Why it matters: It can be extremely difficult for seniors to dig out from debt, particularly if they've left the labor force or are dealing with medical issues.
- Some older adults with extensive debt have reported skipping necessary health care, and research suggests indebted seniors are more likely to be in worse health.
By the numbers: Adults 65 and older make up more than 21% of the state's population, according to census data. In St. Pete and Tampa, elderly residents make up about 19% and 13% of the population respectively.
- And more are moving into the state. Florida recently gained more older adults from net migration than any other state, at 53,150 annually during a typical year between 2015 and 2019, according to a recent census report.
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