Survey: 63% of U.S. Residents Paying More for Health Care in 2007
In a nationwide survey released on Wednesday, 63% of U.S. residents reported paying higher health care costs this year than they did in 2006, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The survey, released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, was conduced with market research firm Mathew Greenwald and Associates and included 1,000 adults interviewed between May 17 and June 10.
Of those affected by increasing health care costs, 81% said they were pursuing healthier habits to keep their costs down, an increase of 10 percentage points from last year. In addition, 64% of respondents reported that they now will see a doctor only for more serious concerns to save money, an increase of 10 percentage points from last year. The number of respondents who said they stopped filling or skipped doses of prescription drugs increased to 28% from 21% in 2006.
Health care cost increases also caused 29% of respondents to have difficulties paying for basic needs, such as food, heating or housing, while 20% said they had increased their credit card debt to pay for health care bills. More than 70% said they think the U.S. health care system needs to be reformed, with 24% calling for a complete overhaul and 47% saying they are in favor of major changes (Belser, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/24). The survey results are available online.