(The Center Square) – South Carolina ranks among the worst states in the country for residents struggling to pay off medical debt.
According to a new report from HelpAdvisor.com, which analyzed credit bureau data compiled by the Urban Institute, South Carolina ranks second in the nation, behind West Virginia. Oklahoma, North Carolina and Texas round out the top five, while neighboring Georgia ranks ninth.
THE analysis found that more than one-fifth (22.3%) of South Carolinians with a credit report have medical debt in collections.
The report also found that three South Carolina counties ranked among the 50 counties with the highest medical debt collection rates. Palmetto State counties on the list are Marlboro (37.1%), Laurens (36.9%) and Cherokee (34.2%).
According to the analysis, at least a quarter of residents in 356 counties nationwide have medical debt in collections, while more than a third of the population in 47 counties across the country have medical debt in collections.
About one in six Americans (15.4%) with a credit report had medical debt in collections as of February 2022, the most recent data available. In some areas of the country, the rate of people with medical debt in collections exceeded 40%.
Minnesota is the state where residents have the least difficulty paying off medical debt, ahead of South Dakota, Alaska and Massachusetts.