‘Our healthcare system forces us to try to make calculations between financial security and health’: Americans give US hospitals a dismal score

Health care in America doesn’t get high marks, to put it mildly.

More than two years after the pandemic highlighted the varied and acute challenges surrounding medical care in the United States, a new survey reveals persistent challenges and stubbornly high costs.

Almost half – 44% – gave an overall rating of poor, a D rating, or failing that, an F rating. This averages out to a C minus.

That’s according to a poll by Gallup and researchers from West Health, a family of nonprofits in Washington, D.C. They asked more than 5,500 people to rate the health care system based on its costs, its ability to provide care equally to all patients, quality of care and more.

There were no high marks in New Discoveries, but research shows that lack of affordability lowers GPA.

Three-quarters of people gave the cost of care a D or an F. That’s an average of D minus. Whether they earn less than $24,000 a year or more than $180,000, about three-quarters of all income demographics rated D or F.

Some 13% of those surveyed said they could not afford needed medication, up from 7% in June 2021.

“When members of my family needed surgery or medication [they] really have to consider how much medical debt they’re willing to take on,” said one survey participant, a 28-year-old woman from Pennsylvania. “Our healthcare system forces us to try to make the calculations between financial security and health simply because of the high cost of things.”

In June, more than a quarter of people (26%) said they or a family member had skipped treatment in the past three months because they couldn’t afford the cost, either nearly double the 14% who said the same in June 2021.

Some 13% of people said they could not afford needed medication, up from 7% in June 2021.

Women, Hispanics and Blacks were the most likely to say they had cut back on medical care and medications in the past 12 months to meet other costs, the authors noted.

When people delay or avoid treatment, they are more likely to skip a visit to the dentist, followed by a visit to the doctor.

“The inability to pay for care, leading to skipped treatments, could have a lasting impact on Americans’ health — a growing concern as rising inflation continues to force Americans to cut spending,” the researchers wrote. Gallup and West Health. West Health is made up of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations focused on improving care and reducing costs for patients.

The “No surprises” law was launched this year, prohibiting unexpected medical bills for out-of-network care.

At a time when all costs are rising, medical expenses are no exception. The cost of living rose 8.3% in August, beating expectations. Within this overall figure, the combined expenses including “medical care costs” increased by 5.6% year-over-year. In this category, health insurance costs are up more than 24% from the same point last year.

The release of September inflation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled for next week, October 13.

Issues with cost and patient access to medical care go back years, but Thursday’s research comes as more laws, rules and initiatives attempt to cut costs.

For example, the “No Surprises” law launched this year, prohibiting unexpected medical bills for out-of-network care. The country’s three major credit reporting firms, Equifax EFX,
-3.15%,
EXPERIAN EXPGY,
-1.92%
and TransUnion TRU,
-2.90%,
erase paid medical collection debt from consumer credit reports.

Meanwhile, the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act contains cost-limiting provisions for Medicare beneficiaries and federal health insurance for those over 65. For example, the law, starting next year, will link drug prices to the consumer price index, and companies that raise prices faster than the index will have to pay rebates.

Many survey participants worried about whether Medicare and Social Security would be available to them when they became eligible.

Starting in 2025, payouts are limited to $2,000 for Medicare beneficiaries.

However, many survey participants were concerned about whether Medicare and Social Security would be available to them when they became eligible. Generally, Medicare coverage can begin at age 65 and Social Security retirement benefits can begin as early as age 62.

Two-thirds of people under 64 said they were “worried” or “extremely worried” about whether Medicare would be available to them, and three-quarters of people aged 62 and under said the same. thing about social security.

Concerns, especially about social security, are shared by many people. The projected exhaust date for the Social Security Trust Fund is 2035.

Exhaustion would mean the ability to cover 75% of the current statutory benefit, explained MarketWatch columnist Alicia H. Munnell, director of the Boston College Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Read also:

‘We’re drowning in debt’: Black and brown mothers face more hurdles balancing childcare and bills when they return to work

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