Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) recently shared data from a poll they conducted with the public to assess their experiences with health care costs. Highlights include:
- Approximately 50% of U.S. adults encounter issues paying for health care.
- Often, patients are unable to fill prescriptions due to the costs.
- Adults who are uninsured, Black or Hispanic, or in a lower income bracket are significantly affected by high health care expenses.
- Affording deductibles is a concern for insured adults.
- Over 40% of Americans are worried about health care debt.
- Medical bills are the second biggest concern for U.S. adults, following gasoline and transportation costs.
Stress around health care costs is only likely to grow. An Associated Press (AP) article published on July 19 notes that a KFF review of rate filings by health insurers shows an average of a 10% increase across 13 states and Washington D.C. This comes after a rise in doctors’ office visits over the last few months. During the height of the COVID pandemic, patient visits had decreased. Now the public is returning to receive medical care just as premiums, which had remained flat for years, are about to increase.
In addition, Congress is currently deciding whether to continue financial aid to insurance companies through the American Rescue Plan. This assistance, which helped keep premiums low, could expire at the end of the year. If it does, as many as 3 million Americans may drop coverage due to costs.