More people confident they can pay medical bills

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A new survey finds growing confidence in Americans’ ability to pay for health care costs, but it’s young adults who are most supportive of health reform plans.

A Thomson Reuters survey published Monday found that “fewer Americans are afraid that they will be unable to pay for healthcare services and fewer expect to postpone medical treatments due to costs” than earlier this year.

Researchers found a steady increase in confidence in the ability to pay for healthcare services – it rose 12 percent between March and July this year, said Gary Pickens, chief research officer for the Healthcare and Science business of Thomson Reuters.

“There is growing optimism among many healthcare consumers, but also is a clear disparity in outlook between those with higher income levels who have insurance coverage and those who are uninsured. This gap needs to be an area of focus for healthcare professionals and policymakers.”

The results are based on a telephone survey of 3,000 households.

Other surveys, meanwhile, show that young adults – 30 percent of the uninsured population – are the group most supportive of President Barack Obama’s plan.

This group is least likely to be offered health insurance through employment benefits – only 53 percent of working young adults are eligible for employer-based coverage.

But the support is quiet – with political scientists saying that the “hyper partisan” town hall meetings put young adults “off” the health care proposal.

“… the town hall meetings, which got so much media attention, are just not an attractive venue for young people,” said Thomas Bates, Rock the Vote spokesman, talking to the Los Angles Times.

One Response to More people confident they can pay medical bills

  1. Funny how people that never have to use their health insurance for major illness think that our healthcare system works just fine. Interestingly, a Harvard study in 2005 found that medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US. From that study:

    Illness and medical bills caused half of the 1,458,000 personal bankruptcies in 2001, according to a study published by the journal Health Affairs.

    The study estimates that medical bankruptcies affect about 2 million Americans annually — counting debtors and their dependents, including about 700,000 children.

    Surprisingly, most of those bankrupted by illness had health insurance. More than three-quarters were insured at the start of the bankrupting illness. However, 38 percent had lost coverage at least temporarily by the time they filed for bankruptcy.

    Read more:

    September 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm