Mel Evans, Associated Press
FILE - This Nov. 15, 2005 file photo shows 40 milligram tablets of Lipitor, one kind of statin used for lowering blood cholesterol, in Glen Rock, N.J.

Health care costs are becoming a major issue for many Americans.

A recent study from the National Center for Health Statistics, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that 1 in 3 people live in a family that has had trouble paying medical bills in the last year, according to NPR. That figure also includes families that were currently paying medical bills over time or had medical bills the family was unable to pay.

Other past studies showed 1 in 5 Americans had medical bill trouble, but those studies were not as thorough as CDC’s.

Those falling into the “near-poor” category took the hardest hit. They were 45.8 percent likely to experience problems paying medical bills, compared to 41.3 percent below the poverty line.

This is likely due to the fact that the very poorest people have Medicaid, according to NPR.

This problem isn’t just for older Americans, as one might think.

The same data also shows that children who are 17 and younger are the most likely of any age group to be in a family who has run into trouble paying medical bills, according to MSN.com. The study found that about 24 percent of the age group reported being in a family troubled by medical bills, compared to 10 percent of people who are 65 to 74 years old.

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