Americans Use Tax Refunds to Pay for Healthcare

Americans Use Tax Refunds to Pay for Healthcare

As Americans scramble to finish filing their 2017 taxes ― due April 17 ― let’s look at where a big chunk of tax refunds are spent: deferred healthcare. Because of out-of-pocket expenses and high deductibles, people are waiting until after they receive tax payment back to have medical conditions, treatment, and procedures done.

A JP Morgan Chase Institute report showed socioeconomic data for 1.2 million households who filed taxes and received tax refunds in 2016. The data determined certain demographic groups spent a lot of it on healthcare. According to an article on the CNBC website, the 2016 JP Morgan Chase analysis showed:

  • In February 2016, 64 percent of tax refund spending payed for deferred healthcare.
  • In March 2016, 55 percent of tax refund spending payed for deferred healthcare.
  • The week after receiving a refund, healthcare spending was 60 percent higher than during the weeks within 100 days before.
  • Out-of-pocket healthcare spending on debit cards increased 83 percent with no offsetting change to credit-card spending.
  • 65 percent of tax refund spending by women was used for healthcare.
  • Nearly 70 percent of spending by tax filers with low-income or little-to-no-savings paid for healthcare.

After analysis of the data, JP Morgan Chase Institute President and CEO Diana Farrell said, “it’s increasingly clear that families are using their tax refunds as a zero-interest savings vehicle” and added “if consumers have a health need at some other time of the year, they might have to delay treatment until cash arrives during tax time.”

 

Michelle Dick
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Michelle Dick

Executive Editor at AAPC
Michelle A. Dick has been executive editor for AAPC for over 10 years. Prior to her work at AAPC, she was editor-in-chief at Eli Research and Element K Journals, and disk ad coordinator, web designer/developer, and graphic artist at White Directory Publishers, Inc. She has a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from the State University of New York - Buffalo State and is a member of the Flower City Professional Coders in Rochester, N.Y.
Michelle Dick
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About Has 217 Posts

Michelle A. Dick has been executive editor for AAPC for over 10 years. Prior to her work at AAPC, she was editor-in-chief at Eli Research and Element K Journals, and disk ad coordinator, web designer/developer, and graphic artist at White Directory Publishers, Inc. She has a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from the State University of New York - Buffalo State and is a member of the Flower City Professional Coders in Rochester, N.Y.

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