CBS: Almost a Third of Americans Don’t See a Doctor
Nearly a third of Americans said they had not seen a doctor in the past three months because of concerns about the cost of these services, CBS News reported, citing a recent study. At the same time, as noted in the article, the number of those who are in no hurry to seek medical care has grown sharply even among families that have a good income – more than $120 thousand per year.
Medical services are too expensive
Even higher-income Americans are affected by high medical costs. So, every fifth family, earning more than $120 thousand a year, announced the need to refuse medical care. Thus, in 2020-2021, the share of such families has increased almost sevenfold.
The increasing number of Americans who refuse to seek medical help due to financial problems has been noted in 2020-2021 in most of the United States. At the same time, due to the fact that many US residents in the pandemic avoid going to the doctor, they then often face more onerous costs.
Some medical spending, such as prescription drugs, has increased over the past year, with drug prices in America rising ahead of inflation.
Nonetheless, as the article emphasizes, refusing treatment can be dire, and a study found that nearly 13 million Americans have either a friend or family member who died because they could not afford medical care.
Loans for treatment are gaining popularity
Thousands of Americas had to take payday loans to pay for medical services and expensive medication. According to statistics presented by Cash Depot, 27% of clients who applied for short-term payday loans in Nebraska through their online referral service needed money for urgent medical treatment. The requested loan amounts ranged from $100 and $1,000. This product has become very demanded this year because due to the online application, same-day funding, relaxed borrower eligibility criteria, and no paperwork. Other loan purposes included car repair, home improvement, expenses related to moving or education, a large purchase, etc.
In addition, 20% of US adults say they or someone in their family has a worse health problem after delaying treatment because of the cost.
About 23% of Americans say that paying for medical services is a serious financial burden for them, and among US residents earning less than $48 thousand a year, this position is held by one in three.
Medical bills were the largest source of debt in the United States from 2009 to 2021, according to a July study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, with a record $140 billion in debt last year.