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High medical costs deemed debilitating, even among the insured

A recent study conducted among 1,000 adults between February 23 and 24, 2017 suggests the increased health care costs continue to plague the American consumer. The study, a collaborative effort carried out by the global market research firms, Amino and Ipsos, suggests that American consumers continue to be plagued by concerns over overwhelming medical debt and affordability of medical procedures.

When it comes to those polled, more than 74 percent reported having witnessed rises in health care costs over the last few years. Of those, while 64 percent would like to see health care costs go down, they don't know what more they can do to achieve that goal.

Additionally, 53 percent equated having received a large medical bill as not being all that different from being diagnosed with a serious illness. At least 10 percent reported that a large medical bill is potentially much worse that a prospective illness.

When it comes to affordability, 55 percent of respondents reported having previously received a medical bill that was well above the amount they were capable of paying. For those who did, 37 percent highlighted that any amount billed in excess of $100 would have easily caused them to go into debt. At the same time, 23 percent said they were capable of affording a medical bill as high as $2,000 or more.

As for avoiding overwhelming medical debt, 39 percent of those polled cited their reliance on their health insurance coverage as their main method for steering clear of crippling medical bills. However, of those who do rely on health insurance for their medical costs, at least 49 percent mentioned that an explanation of their coverage is too limited to truly know how helpful it is to have health insurance.

In fact, it's because of this that some 55 percent of insured Americans alleged that they call medical providers first to ask more details about not only the costs of the procedure, but what portion of it insurance covers, before booking an appointment. More than 7 percent reported looking online for the same reasons.

And, as a result of what they find out, some 19 percent of those polled reported avoiding seeing a physician if they found it to be too costly to do so. In contrast, some 56 percent of uninsured individuals reported deciding not to see a doctor because of cost.

If you are consumed by overwhelming medical debt and are looking to learn more about potential options for addressing it, a Knoxville bankruptcy attorney may be able to shed light on the many options you can choose from.

Source: www.beckerhospitalreview.com, "53% of Americans equate unaffordable medical bills to being diagnosed with a serious illness," Kelly Gooch, March 21, 2017

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