May 23, 2024

A brand new survey launched Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund discovered that Individuals usually tend to skip or delay wanted well being care due to price in comparison with residents of different developed nations. 

In keeping with the Commonwealth Fund Worldwide Well being Coverage Survey, 46% of low- or average-income Individuals say they’ve skipped getting wanted care on account of prices. That price is almost double the proportion of low or average-income Canadians and thrice larger than the speed of low- or average-income British, Dutch, German or French respondents. 

That is regardless of the common pretax household earnings within the U.S. standing almost $10,000 greater than in Canada and Germany; $19,000 greater than in France; $26,000 greater than in the UK; and $30,000 greater than within the Netherlands.

Examples of skipping care embrace having a medical subject however not seeing a physician, skipping a medical check, lacking a really helpful follow-up appointment and lacking or skipping doses of prescription treatment. 

The survey additionally discovered that 29% of higher-income Individuals skipped care. 

The report confirmed that 44% of Individuals had a minimum of one medical invoice drawback within the final 12 months, and that there was no distinction between high-income earners and others. 

The authors of the report stated the findings present that America’s excessive price for well being care is affecting all earnings ranges. 

“This research exhibits that top well being care prices have an effect on Individuals in all earnings teams, not simply folks with low incomes. Actually, in terms of well being care, folks with decrease or common incomes in different nations could also be higher off than higher-income Individuals,” stated Munira Gunja, lead research creator and senior researcher on the Commonwealth Fund. “Individuals within the U.S. with common and decrease incomes are the probably to face affordability challenges. Not solely is the U.S. the one nation on this research with out common well being protection, but it surely additionally has the very best well being care costs. To make well being care accessible to all Individuals, we have to handle these points.” 

Dr. Joseph Betancourt, president of the Commonwealth Fund, stated skipping care could cause destructive results for sufferers. 

“As a major care physician, I’ve witnessed the dire penalties of individuals delaying or going with out well being care on account of challenges with affordability — or having to weigh spending cash on primary wants corresponding to meals and utilities towards spending cash on wanted well being care and medication. That is irritating and unacceptable. Given how a lot we make investments, everybody within the nation ought to have significant entry to reasonably priced well being care,” he stated. 

In keeping with annual information launched by KFF, the common household’s well being care premium for employer-sponsored protection price $23,968 in 2023, marking a 7% enhance over final 12 months. Most of that price was lined by the employer. Within the final decade, well being care prices have usually risen 3% to five% yearly. 

The typical employee now contributes $6,575 yearly to their household’s well being care plan, which is up almost $1,000 from 2018. However throughout that very same time, the fee for employers has gone up over $3,000 per household plan. 

Human Rights Watch has beforehand decried the U.S. authorities for missing rules to guard the general public from racking up debt for hospital care. 

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