New data outlines 'wide range of consequences and sacrifices' made by insured Americans who face burdensome medical bills
For one in five Americans, just having medical insurance isn't enough to forestall the damaging consequences of the nation's for-profit healthcare system.
A comprehensive new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the New York Times finds that while an unsurprising 53 percent of people who are uninsured face problems with medical bills, a whopping 20 percent of working-age Americans who do have insurance also report having medical debt that causes serious financial challenges and changes in employment and lifestyle.
According to a Kaiser Foundation statement, people with insurance who faced the burden of medical debt reported "a wide range of consequences and sacrifices during the past year as a result," including:
delaying vacations or major household purchases (77%),
spending less on food, clothing and basic household items (75%),
using up most or all their savings (63%),
taking an extra job or working more hours (42%),
increasing their credit card debt (38%),
borrowing money from family or friends (37%),
changing their living situation (14%), and
seeking the aid of a charity (11%).
In addition, insured people with medical debt reported skipping or putting off other health care in the past year because of the cost, such as postponing dental care, skipping doctor-recommended tests or treatments, or not filling a prescription.