53% of Americans equate unaffordable medical bills to being diagnosed with a serious illness

Americans have significant concerns about rising healthcare costs, and they deal with these worries in different ways, according to a recent study.

Consumer transparency company Amino and global market and opinion research firm Ipsos partnered for the study. Researchers asked more than 1,000 adults how they view and deal with rising healthcare costs. The survey took place from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24.

Here are 10 survey findings.

Concerns about medical bills

1. A vast majority of Americans (74 percent) have experienced rising healthcare costs in the past few years, the survey found.

2. Fifty-three percent of Americans believe receiving a large, unaffordable medical bill is as bad as being diagnosed with a serious illness. An additional 10 percent of respondents believe a large medical bill is worse than a diagnosis, according to the survey.

3. The survey found 64 percent of Americans have a desire for lower healthcare costs, but aren't certain how to mitigate them.

Affordability of medical bills

4. Fifty-five percent of respondents have received a medical bill they could not afford.

5. Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they could not pay for an unexpected medical bill that exceeded $100 without going into debt, according to the survey.

6. The survey found only 23 percent of Americans are able to cover an unexpected medical bill for more than $2,000.

Dealing with medical bills

7. Thirty-nine percent of respondents cited maintaining good insurance coverage as the top tactic they use to avoid high medical bills, according to the survey. Still, 49 percent of respondents said their insurance doesn't provide them with sufficient information to determine their healthcare costs, and only 32 percent contribute to a health savings account.

8. Fifty-five percent of Americans call ahead to ask medical providers about the cost of treatment before booking an appointment or procedure, according to the survey.

9. Only 19 percent of respondents cited not seeing a physician as their main tactic to avoid high medical bills. The survey found 56 percent of uninsured people also avoid seeing a physician altogether.

10. A small number of Americans (7 percent) research physicians, facilities or costs ahead of an appointment or procedure to avoid high medical bills, according to the survey.

Read the complete survey findings here.



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