Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Many Americans Have Trouble Paying Medical Bills: Survey

From HealthCentral:
A new survey found that 25 percent of Americans said that they or a household family member had trouble paying medical bills during the past year. That's the highest percentage in a series of polls since 1997.
Of the respondents who reported problems, 69 percent had health insurance. The Health Care in America Survey of 1,201 adults was conducted between September 7th and 12th, 2006. Key findings include:

  • 28 percent of respondents said that in the past year they or a family member have put off medical treatment because of the cost. Of those who delayed treatment, 70 percent said they needed care for a serious medical condition.
  • Among those with health insurance, 60 percent are worried about not being able to afford coverage over the next few years -- 27 percent said they are very worried.
  • 54 percent of those without health insurance said they don't have it because they can't afford it.
  • 80 percent said they're dissatisfied with the overall cost of healthcare to the nation. Cost came out ahead of quality when they were asked about their own healthcare.
The survey was conducted jointly by the Kaiser Family Foundation, ABC News, and USA Today.