Americans Delay Care as a Healthcare Strategy
Three in 10 Americans delay care as a healthcare strategy. Many believe this is a way for them to save money. For many, this is at the cost of their health condition. As the cost of healthcare rises, more people are finding coverage and care less affordable.
Less American adults are seeking medical treatment and care altogether over the years.
Across the board, one thing remains the same – many aren’t even looking into treatment or services because it’s too expensive. Depending on the situation, covering out-of-pocket costs may be impossible.
In turn, those who can’t afford it – go about their lives without seeking any form of healthcare altogether. The risk of health concerns increases for these individuals.
A common feeling for American adults nationwide is, being unable to prioritize their health due to the cost.
Americans are Delaying Care as a Healthcare Strategy
Recent poll results claim that 3 in 10 Americans put off looking for some form of medical treatment or healthcare services within this past year. Unfortunately, this is because of the cost.
According to Gallup’s annual Health and Healthcare poll, the rate of American adults not getting care in the U.S. remains consistent since 2005. As of 2018, 29% of the U.S.’ adult population was using delaying treatment as a solution.
From 2001 to 2004 this average was only 24%. Which is a 2% increase from 1991, the average was 22%.
As the cost of healthcare rises, so does the number of American’s delaying care.
Serious Health Risks
Most of those that didn’t receive medical care over the last year suffer from serious health issues or conditions.
This has been not only consistent but very problematic for the last ten years. People with serious and potentially serious health conditions are putting their health at risk because they can’t pay the cost of medical attention.
An even bigger problem is, this rate is increasing. Today, the rate is the highest it’s ever been.
In years prior, only 16% of American adults were postponing medical treatment for a serious condition.
People without health insurance are most likely not looking for treatment at all because of the expense. Such claims remain the same year after year for more than half of the individuals without health insurance.
Private health insurance beneficiaries are the second most likely to postpone treatment. These individuals make up the majority of overall rate increases seen since 2005.
Individuals with Medicare or Medicaid are least likely to delay care. These government insurance programs saw a 4-point increase; from 18% to 22%.
The rate for those without health insurance remains about the same with a 1% increase.
Income Brackets and Rising Health Costs
As care cost rise, people are steering away from the doctors and hoping for the best on their own.
All three income brackets will see an effect as the costs of healthcare rises. Within each income bracket, rates have gone up anywhere from 7-11%.
Delaying healthcare isn’t just for low-income individuals. People of all income brackets make up a percentage of American adults postponing healthcare.
Unfortunately, many adults across the country are compromising their health, simply because they can’t pay for healthcare.
Of those waiting to seek medical treatment, 38% have an annual household income of $30,000 or less. The chief complaint is the cost of healthcare.
23% of Americans in the $30,000 – $74,999 income bracket put off getting treatment in the years 2001 – 2004. Now, 34% of Americans in this bracket are delaying health care.
Likewise, in previous years (2001-04) 15% in the $75,000+ income bracket delays care. Like the rest, this rate jumped to 22% from 2005 – 2018.
All 3 brackets share one common factor. A similar rate percentage increase of people who are currently putting off medical care services.
Delay Care – a Healthcare Strategy for 3 in 10 Americans
Many people with health insurance are accountable for paying deductibles, co-payments, and other out-of-pocket costs. Also, beneficiaries have a monthly premium.
At the time of most doctors’ visits, co-payments and deductibles are the patient’s responsibility. These costs might hinder some patients from visiting their doctor for every medical symptom.
This tactic might be appropriate for keeping the U.S. healthcare costs down. This tactic helps keep the public’s demand for healthcare services down; however, this may lead to more serious issues later.
Healthcare Changes and Income Trends
Other Gallup poll results from March 26th, 2018, show a rise in anxiety among many adult Americans. This is due to the changes in the healthcare system.
Changes include health care availability plus the increasing costs of treatment.
Recent poll results show the rates remain consistent for over 13 years. This means the overall rate of people without care is still too high.
The number of uninsured Americans has gone down since the passing of the Affordable Care Act & ACA law. However, it isn’t quite enough to change ratings of unmet care among Americans in 2018.