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Record Number of Americans Put off Medical Treatment Due to Costs

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Record Number of Americans Put off Medical Treatment Due to Costs 

Cost Still a Barrier Between Americans and Medical Care
by Rebecca Riffkin

In U.S., 33% have put off medical treatment because of cost
More put off treatment for serious conditions than non-serious
More with private insurance put off treatment in 2014 than 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One in three Americans say they have put off getting medical treatment that they or their family members need because of cost. Although this percentage is in line with the roughly 30% figures seen in recent years, it is among the highest readings in the 14-year history of Gallup asking the question.

Since 2001, Gallup has asked Americans each November if they have put off any sort of medical treatment for themselves or their families in the past 12 months. Last year, many hoped that the opening of the government healthcare exchanges and the resulting increase in the number of Americans with health insurance would enable more people to seek medical treatment. But,despite a drop in the uninsured rate, a slightly higher percentage of Americans than in previous years report having put off medical treatment, suggesting that the Affordable Care Act has not immediately affected this measure.

Among Americans with varying types of medical coverage (including no coverage), uninsured Americans are still the most likely to report having put off medical treatment because of cost. More than half of the uninsured (57%) have put off treatment, compared with 34% with private insurance and 22% with Medicare or Medicaid. However, the percentage of Americans with private health insurance who report putting off medical treatment because of cost has increased from 25% in 2013 to 34% in 2014.

Thirty-five percent of lower-income Americans — those with annual household incomes under $30,000 — report putting off medical treatment in the past 12 months, down from 43% in 2013. More upper-income Americans, on the other hand, report delaying treatment, with percentages rising from 17% in 2013 to 28% this year. The percentage of middle-income Americans who have put off medical treatment remains roughly the same as last year, at 38%.

Americans More Likely to Put Off Treatment for Serious Conditions

Those who indicate that they have put off medical treatment in the past 12 months are asked to rate the seriousness of the underlying condition or illness. This year, 22% of Americans say they have put off medical treatment for a “very” or “somewhat serious” condition. This is double the 11% who say they have put off treatment for a non-serious condition. Furthermore, the percentage who have put off treatment for a serious condition has increased slightly since 2013.

https://www.gallup.com/poll/179774/cost-barrier-americans-medical-care.aspx

 

 

 

One thought on “Record Number of Americans Put off Medical Treatment Due to Costs

  1. And I’m sure the majority of those complaining are unhealthy due to poor diets and bad lifestyle choices. So many of us today are basically eating ourselves to death and we get mad because healthcare, most of which wouldn’t be necessary if we lived better lives, is unaffordable. I’m not talking about those people at the lower end of society. Those folks are beyond help and actually, don’t even pay for their healthcare. It’s the average middle class I’m referring to.

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