Health costs forcing more Americans to skip care: survey

One quarter of Americans report problems paying for medical bills, and more than half say they have skipped or cut back on health care due to the cost, according to a survey released Monday.

Ahead of an expected Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Obama administration's health care reforms, the survey also said that 64 percent of people worry about the rising cost of health care and health insurance.

Some 45 million Americans do not have health insurance, and the United States does not have universal health care.

According to the survey, 26 percent of people said they or a family member ran into problems paying their medical bills over the past year. And 58 percent reported skipping or putting off medical care since a year ago due to the cost.

Around one quarter say they skipped tests to avoid costs; the same percentage said they did not fill a drug prescription for the same reason.

And 16 percent of people said they cut pills in half, or skipped scheduled doses, to save money.

Most of those surveyed reported the cost of health care, whether from insurance, co-payments and deductibles, or health services, is rising, despite the government's efforts to drive down costs.

The biggest amount of care-skipping comes from people without insurance, Kaiser said.

"Fully eight in ten of the uninsured (81 percent) report delaying or foregoing care due to cost in the past year."

The survey comes out with the country's highest court expected to rule, by the end of the month, on lawsuits challenging President Barack Obama's signature package pushed through Congress three years ago.

The ruling could halt key parts or all of the package, which aimed at requiring all citizens to have and at creating cheaper coverage options.

"While facing the country continue and the Supreme Court is deciding the fate of the Act, the survey finds that the problems and concerns related to health care costs and access are widespread."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obama defends health care, mum on court case

Mar 30, 2012

President Barack Obama defended his signature health care reform Friday, without discussing a Supreme Court case that could spell its end ahead of November's presidential elections.

US health insurance costs up 9% in year: study

Sep 27, 2011

Company-provided health insurance, one of the largest costs of US businesses and households alike, rose nine percent over the past year despite the sluggish economy, according to a new study released Tuesday.

US Supreme Court sets hearings on Obama health reform

Dec 19, 2011

The US Supreme Court will hear evidence challenging President Barack Obama's health care reform -- which has come under fire from Republicans -- over three days in March, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

11 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

13 hours ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

13 hours ago

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments