Adults 40-49 more likely to struggle with medical costs than older counterparts, AARP finds

Adults ages 40-49 are more likely than their older counterparts to say they could not afford an unexpected medical bill or need to borrow from friends or family to cover medical expenses, a report from AARP found. 

AARP surveyed 1,737 adults aged 40-64 on healthcare affordability. The findings were published Nov. 7. 

Five numbers of note: 

  1. Of those surveyed, 29 percent said they had received an unexpected medical bill in the past year. 

  2. Women were more likely to say they received medical bills they could not afford to pay — 17 percent of women surveyed had a bill they could not pay in the last year, compared to 12 percent of men. 

  3. Many adults said healthcare has become harder to afford since the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those surveyed, 23 percent of those aged 40-49 said it had become harder to afford, compared with 19 percent of those aged 50-59 and 16 percent of those aged 60-64. 

  4. Men were more likely than women to say they were confident they could afford an unexpected medical bill. Of those surveyed, 48 percent of men said they were very confident they could afford a $1,000 medical bill, while 32 percent of women said the same. 

  5. When asked what the most important healthcare cost issue for policymakers to address is, 43 percent said reducing the cost of monthly insurance premiums, and 31 percent said reducing out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copays.

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