13% of Americans know someone who died after not being able to afford healthcare, survey finds

Millions of Americans have personal connections to the effects of high medical expenses, according to a national survey released Nov. 12 by the nonprofit West Health and Gallup.

The September survey of 1,099 U.S. adults found that more than 13 percent of Americans — about 34 million people — have lost a friend or family member sometime in the last five years after the person did not receive needed medical treatment due to cost.

Nonwhites, people in lower-income households, those younger than 45, and independents and Democrats are more likely to have lost someone who couldn't afford healthcare, according to the survey.

"These results are not meant to quantify the number of people who have died after not being able to pay for medical treatment, including prescription drugs, but rather the number of people who report knowledge of a death under such circumstances," Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, wrote in his coverage of the survey findings.

The report also found an increasing percentage of adults who reported being unable to pay for  prescribed medicine or drugs in the last 12 months. Nearly 19 percent reported this in January, compared to 22.9 percent — or about 58 million adults — in September, according to the survey.

Read more about the survey findings here.

 

More articles on healthcare finance: 

Connecticut hospital known for suing patients reviews its debt-collection policies
13% of Americans know someone who died after not being able to afford healthcare, survey finds
One-third of US credit cardholder debt is from medical bills, survey finds

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