By Cleveland Scene, on March 3, 2021
The COVID-19 crisis underscored the importance of quality health care, and new data reveals it also intensified patient anxieties about the ability to pay for care.
In a survey from Consumers for Quality Care, 80% of respondents agreed health care costs continue to rise each year, and 57% of voters said they’re specifically worried about out-of-pocket costs.
Joelle Abramowitz, co-director of the Michigan Federal Statistical Research Data Center, part of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, said patients are more likely to skip or delay routine medical care when premiums and deductibles are too high.
“Having coverage literally saves people’s lives,” Abramowitz asserted. “Even if you’re not sick today you could be sick tomorrow. And people don’t seek preventative care; they don’t seek care when they need it, because of cost, if they don’t have coverage. And we’ve seen that.”
Jason Resendez, a board member of the group Consumers for Quality Care, explained 67% of those surveyed want Congress to prioritize controlling health care costs, but he pointed out patients are often not included in the public policy debate.
“Research like this is critical to be able to really look at how patients are being affected by these policies,” Resendez contended. “Particularly during unprecedented times, like we’re in now, and then prioritizing the patient and consumer voice when it comes to policy development.”