Out-Of-Pocket Costs A Health Concern, Survey Shows

By The Post, on February 25, 2021

Out-Of-Pocket Costs A Health Concern, Survey Shows

A new survey shows Pennsylvanians are worried they can’t afford, and want relief from, high out-of-pocket costs for health care.

More than 1-in-10 Pennsylvanians pays at least 10 percent of their income on insurance premiums, and 6 percent spend that much or more on out-of-pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles, according to Antoinette Kraus, director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network. She said those expenses may prevent people from seeking the care they need when a routine physical finds a potential problem.

“Then I need to get some diagnostic testing and I have a high out-of-pocket expense, so I delay that further care, and I end up sicker and costlier down the road,” Kraus explained.

Kraus observed that, with so many people out of work because of COVID-19, more are delaying routine and follow-up medical visits out of concern for the high cost of care. A survey conducted by Consumers for Quality Care, said Americans believe the pandemic has exposed serious flaws in the health care system, even though it’s done a good job getting the country through a critical time.

Jason Resendez, a board member at Consumers for Quality Care, said the survey also determined a large majority of voters nationwide want Congress to make health care cost a top priority.

“The fact that 67 percent of consumers said Congress needs to focus on controlling costs, I think that’s a pretty big message for policymakers to hear right now, in the midst of this pandemic,” Resendez contended. He reported more than 90 percent of voters agree deductibles should be low enough to not be a barrier to accessing health care.

Read the full article on The Post here.