80% of Americans say delaying care led them to incur higher medical bills

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Forty percent of Americans said they or one of their household members have experienced worsening health conditions because they avoided healthcare settings during the pandemic, and 80 percent of these people said the decision led them to incur higher medical bills, according to recent survey results from Freedom Debt Relief.

Freedom Debt Relief surveyed 2,005 American adults from Jan. 20-22 and found that 20 percent of respondents said they have medical debt. Seventy-five percent of respondents with medical debt said they have accumulated more medical debt since March 2020.

Of the respondents who have accrued more medical debt since March 2020, 60 percent said it is because they or one of their household members needed to attend increased medical visits due to potential COVID-19 exposure. Thirty-six percent said they accrued more medical debt because they or one of their household members contracted COVID-19.

Additionally, 26 percent of respondents said they incurred additional out-of-pocket medical expenses because they or one of their household members lost their healthcare insurance.

Seventy-three percent of respondents said they somewhat or strongly agree that an unexpected $500 medical bill would be problematic, up from 68 percent who said the same during last year's survey.

 

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