Tim Wood, CFF
Safe Money Retirement
Worry and Concern Over Medical Costs And Expenses
1 in 3 Can Barely Afford Medical CareMy favorite market is people who are generally overlooked by brokers, people that don’t have investment counselors, and people with a lower net worth.The reason? Our products with their guarantees become very important to them.Along with issues of income and worry regarding having enough money comes the case of medical care. What had been a huge source of annuity premiums for me is now changing. While this target market is still my target market, I now must be cautious because money now has to be set aside for medical expenses that were always covered by insurance in the past.A recent report by the Kaiser Foundation focused on the change this target market is facing and the increasing demand for money from the family budget.More Americans have health insurance, but they’ve also become increasingly worried over the past two years about how to pay for every aspect of their medical care.While most insured adults still can afford their health care, the minority who say it’s “difficult” to pay their monthly premiums, doctor and prescription copayments, and deductibles are growing.Potential explanations for these concerns, revealed in a new Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation poll, include rapidly rising prescription drug costs and the fact that employer-provided health insurance plans with high deductibles are far more common than they used to be. Some of the key findings include:
- Four in ten (43 percent) adults with health insurance say they have difficulty affording their deductible, and roughly a third say they have trouble affording their premiums and other cost-sharing; all shares have increased since 2015.
- Three in ten (29 percent) Americans report problems paying medical bills, and these problems come with real consequences for some. For example, among those reporting problems paying medical bills, seven in ten (73 percent) report cutting back spending on food, clothing, or essential household items.
- Challenges affording care also result in some Americans saying they have delayed or skipped care due to costs in the past year, including 27 percent who say they have put off or postponed getting the health care they needed, 23 percent who say they have skipped a recommended medical test or treatment, and 21 percent who say they have not filled a prescription for a medicine.
- Even for those who may not have had difficulty affording care or paying medical bills, there is still a widespread worry about being able to afford needed health care services, with half of the public expressing concern about this.
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