Poll shows that many have received more regular health care thanks to the boost in insurance coverage
A HealthCare.com poll of 1,005 Americans found that 22% of them got more regular health care thanks to better insurance access during the pandemic. This comes as a result of the federal government lifting health insurance subsidies and expanding Medicaid during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The number of uninsured fell from 13% in the 2020 survey to 8% in 2022, according to the survey. Individuals with marketplace plans (ACA) rose from 5% in 2020 to 8% in 2022, while people on Medicaid rose from 12% of the adult population in 2020 to 19% in 2022.
The number of respondents ranking health insurance as their biggest expense dropped from 39% in 2020 to 26% in 2022, according to the report.
Despite the increase in coverage, financing health care remains a problem. For example, among the uninsured, 51% of respondents say the reason they cannot afford health insurance is that it is too expensive.
In addition, many American adults also carry medical debt. The survey found that the percentage rose from 28% of the population in 2020 to 42% in 2022. Among American adults with medical debt, 39% have debt of more than $1,000 and 6% more than $10,000.
One cause of medical debt is surprise medical bills. The survey showed that 50% of Americans experienced surprise medical bills in the past year. Among them, 15% got up to $500 in surprise medical bills, 17% got surprise medical bills of $501-$2,000, 10% of $2,001-$10,000, and 4% of $10,001-$20,000, and 3% had surprise medical bills in the last receive. year of more than $20,000.
Many Americans do not have savings to pay medical bills. The survey showed that 26% have nothing in savings for emergency medical bills, 15% have just $1-$500, while on the other hand, 16% of American adults own more than $6,000.
Some 31% of respondents say they don’t know how to pay for a serious illness, while 24% will pay with a credit card, and 16% will borrow money from family. About half (49%) of Americans also skip a range of activities to afford health care, with 23% of respondents forgoing travel and another 23% entertainment to afford health care, followed by big-ticket purchases (18% ).
Others skip Christmas presents (16%), food (16%), home repairs (14%), fitness (14%) and rent (9%).
While some Americans have gained more regular health care thanks to improved access to health insurance in the pandemic, many are still opting out of health care. The survey showed that 53% of respondents had skipped health care services in the past year.
Among them, 29% opted out of dental services, 21% vision, 17% lab tests, 15% emergency, 12% preventive, and 10% skipped elective health care.
As in previous surveys, this year’s survey shows that younger Americans struggle the most with health finances. 51% of Millennials, 47% of Gen X and 44% of Gen Z say they have medical debt. This compares to just 35% of the Silent Generation and 29% of Baby Boomers.
At 61%, Millennials are the most likely to receive surprise medical bills, followed by Gen Z at 56%, and Gen X at 51%. This compares with 43% for the Silent Generation and 37% of Boomers.
Younger Americans are more likely to say they benefited from new health insurance subsidies and expanded Medicaid enacted during the COVID-19 health emergency.
34% of Millennials say they received more regular health care thanks to better access to health insurance during the pandemic, along with 24% of Gen Z. This compares to 17% each of Gen X and Boomer respondents and 16% of the Silent Generation.
“These results clearly show that younger generations, many of whom skip health care for financial reasons, have benefited from the government’s pandemic health measures,” HealthCare.com senior vice president of insurance Deirdre Ragan said in a statement.