Florida now ranks No. 2 in the nation when it comes to total medical debt — reaching $8.2 billion — according to a new study released by NiceRX.
Texas topped the list with $14.6 billion in total medical debt.
Vermont has the least medical debt at $42 million.
One out of every five people nationwide is dealing with outstanding medical bills that are currently in collections, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The study found that the generation where medical debt is most common is Generation X, with 16.30% of people owing money for medical expenses. Generation Z was second with $19,890.
A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis earlier this year estimated that roughly 23 million people owe medical debt in the U.S.
The problem is that much of the debt that patients are dealing with may be paid with a credit card or loan, which spirals into even more debt.
But patients are advised that every time they receive a bill, take a close look at it to make sure every item listed is accurate and don’t be afraid to negotiate.
"Believe it or not, when someone's in medical debt, a lot of these hospitals are owned by large companies," attorney Craig Goldenbarb, said. You can actually negotiate a medical debt or enter into a payment plan, and also it's good to check your insurance or check Medicare to make sure they didn't underpay because sometimes your health insurance purposely, or by mistake, underpaid."
Also, starting this summer, medical debt won't show up on your credit file for at least a year.
Starting next year, any medical debt that's under $500 will not be reported to the top three credit agencies.