December 5th, According to a survey by the American Heart Association (AHA) on November 30, nearly half of adults in the United States said they were afraid to go to the doctor because they were afraid of unexpected medical bills.
In addition, survey data showed that more than 40% of respondents said that they would have no money to pay if they received an unexpected medical bill of $1,000. Two-thirds of those with individual health insurance also said that they had received unexpected medical bills, and one-third of them could not pay.
Perhaps because of this, more than 80% of respondents want Congress to pass legislation to end such unexpected medical charges, the American Heart Association said.
“Unexpected medical bills are a major driver of financial anxiety and distress in families across the country who are already overwhelmed by the current pandemic,” said Michelle Elkind, president of the American Heart Association.
Patients who unknowingly obtain services from a health care provider, hospital or medical transportation company outside the insurance company’s coverage may receive unexpected medical bills ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, the American Heart Association says.
In addition, it is reported that the cost of testing and treatment for COVID-19 during the epidemic is also very high.
According to the report, in June this year, Rep. Katie Porter, a Democrat from California, introduced a legislative bill aimed at protecting the public from the erosion of health coverage during public health emergencies.
“Concerns about high medical costs cannot be an obstacle to patients receiving treatment or care, especially during the pandemic,” Porter said at the time at a press conference. “Even during a public health emergency, we’re seeing large insurers continue to put profits ahead of public health,” she said.
Through collaboration with Harris Polling, the American Heart Association conducted an online survey of 2,045 adults aged 18 and above in the United States between October 12 and 14.
According to the survey data, 1,318 of the respondents said that they had received unexpected medical bills and 977 people had personal health insurance.
49% of the respondents said that concerns about unexpected medical bills discourage them from going to the doctor. 44% of respondents said they were unable to pay the $1,000 unexpected medical bill. According to the survey data, 68% of respondents with personal health insurance said they had received unexpected medical bills.
“Patients with acute illnesses such as sudden heart disease or strokes should only care about immediate medical needs — not whether they can afford medical expenses outside of insurance,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.