Americans are avoiding health care because of high costs at the detriment of their health
By Christopher Wolfington
Good health ripples out to many areas of our lives. It is the foundation of our well-being. While we can certainly succeed in life with less than perfect health, good health helps us feel better and live more effectively. In the United States, we have extensive health care systems and some of the best doctors and medical technology in the world.
But some in this country who are sick and living with treatable conditions delay seeking health care. Some even ignore health care altogether, getting by because they feel that is the only way. These individuals avoid care because of high costs, and their avoidance of treatment is detrimental to their health.
The numbers for just how many people avoid treatment are somewhat staggering. According to a CarePayment survey, 61% of Americans have no money saved for healthcare expenses, 64% have avoided or delayed medical care in the previous year because of costs, and 44% of individuals would not receive medical care even if their health was put at risk if out-of-pocket expenses exceeded $500.
Putting off healthcare is not without its consequences. Indeed, delaying treatment because of costs carries a hefty health detriment. A 2011 study published in the American Journal of Medical Quality found that “people who delayed or forwent medical treatment were significantly less likely to report having excellent or very good ex post health status and had significantly lower quality-of-life scores” compared with those who did not delay. In other words, putting off healthcare didn’t just impact the health-related issues, but it also made life worse for them in general.
What can be done about this, then? What is the solution? One obvious solution is to make healthcare more affordable at the same time as it covers more. There are many ways and ideas for how to do this, but progress on this front is going to take significant legislation on the state and federal levels, and so focusing only in that avenue is not a complete solution.
Another way to help individuals get the care they need is through making the payment process as convenient, clear, and painless as possible. You should be able to have more payment options and more freedom of choice, empowering you to do what’s best for you and your health. Finpay can help you do that.