Nearly One-Third of Americans Can’t Afford Health Care

Libby Kane
Posted

americans skip doctor visitsHave you ever avoided visiting the doctor?

If you have, you aren’t alone: A recent Gallup poll found that 32% of Americans do the same. And it isn’t that they’re afraid of needles–they simply can’t afford it.

The Huffington Post reports that in a survey of over 1,000 adults in the United States, 32% of Americans admitted delaying needed health care for cost reasons, compared to 30% last year, and only 19% 12 years ago, when Gallup starting gathering this data.

Today, their reluctance varies by situation: 55% of those without health care put off their visits, nearly twice the 30% of people with private insurance who do the same. And a larger percentage put off care for serious conditions than non-serious conditions, which seems counterintuitive at first–until we realize that, of course, the more serious conditions are also the more expensive ones.

“The rising costs can put personal as well as public health at risk if Americans forgo treatment they need because they feel they cannot afford it,” the report states. “Indeed, Gallup finds more than three in 10 Americans are putting off needed care, even for serious medical issues.”

CBS also points out that a September poll from Consumer Reports found that nearly half of people under age 65 skipped getting needed prescriptions, 63% of that same group didn’t see a doctor at all when sick … and a staggering 81% of about 1,200 people surveyed admitted to skipping some sort of medical cost to save money.

We always say that good health is priceless, but not everyone can afford to agree.