Americans are feeling increasingly exposed to higher healthcare costs.
In particular, high-deductible health plans are on the rise. According to a September survey, the percentage of workers with an insurance plan that requires them to pay up to $US1,000 out of pocket passed the 50% mark for the first time. That means consumers have a clearer picture of how much healthcare costs them.
Of the 1,000 adults polled, 74% said their healthcare costs have gone up over the last few years.
For millennials (survey respondents between the ages of 18-34), 27% said they will put off visiting a doctor to avoid high costs. And 29% of millennials worried about whether their insurance would cover basic costs, compared to just 13.5% of people over the age of 35.
Under the Affordable Care Act, a number of routine and preventive services (like an annual exam) are for free or heavily subsidized. But because there are now more people with high deductibles, which leave them on the hook for at least $US1,000 of their medical costs before insurance kicks in, there are some concerns about how much routine blood work or a new prescription might cost.
The survey also found that more than half of Americans tend to be under-prepared for healthcare expenses: 55% got a bill that they didn’t budget for. (Many people with high deductible health plans are eligible for health savings accounts, which they can use to fund that out-of-pocket cost until their deductible is met.)
But there is a bright spot: 70% of people under 34 talked to their healthcare providers about costs before going for a visit, compared to 50% of those over 35.
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