Americans Are More Afraid of Doctor Bills Than They Are of Being Sick

The skyrocketing cost of healthcare has become prohibitive for many Americans.

More people seem to be skipping physician visits, and U.S. healthcare costs rose to $10,000 a year per person in 2016.

According to a recent national poll, over the past 12 months 44% of Americans said they didn’t go to the doctor when they were sick or injured because of financial concerns.

Meanwhile, 40% said they skipped a recommended medical test or treatment.

Higher deductibles and out-of-network fees are some of the healthcare costs that can hit consumer pockets.

Also, the study found, most people who are delaying or skipping care actually have health insurance.

Of those surveyed, 86% said they’re covered either through their employer, have insurance they purchased directly, or through government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

“There have been so many changes in the health care landscape in the United States that this news is not entirely surprising,” Cleveland Clinic president and CEO Tom Mihaljevic told CNBC’s “On the Money.”

Mihaljevic also warned that skipping visits or treatment can be counterproductive.

“One of most important consequences of skipping medical care or delaying care ultimately impacts the quality of care, impacts the outcome,” he said.

“Untimely visits or delay of visits to the physician ultimately leads to the increased cost of care.”

The poll, conducted by the University of Chicago and the West Health Institute, found Americans fear large medical bills more than they do serious illness.

The data showed 33 percent of those surveyed were “extremely afraid” or “very afraid” of getting seriously ill.

About 40% said paying for healthcare is more frightening than the illness itself.

“Part of problem here is healthcare tends to be very complex, and every patient typically requires a number of procedures and tests to be done, so it’s really difficult to estimate the upfront cost of care, ” Mihaljevic told CNBC.

Additionally, the survey found 54% of those polled received one or more medical bills over the past year for something they thought was covered by their insurance.

Meanwhile, 53% received a bill that was higher than they expected.

Mihaljevic acknowledged the range of different fees for the same services should be made clearer for consumers.

“There is an absolute need for increased transparency when it comes to cost and this is one of mandates for our industry as a whole,” he said.

Cost cutting

Regardless of your immediate situation, here are some tips offered by Consumer Reports, as they relate to healthcare.

First, ask your doctor whether you need a drug. You could be taking something that’s no longer necessary.

Two, talk to your doctor about cost. Many people don’t share their concerns about cost with their doctor.

Most doctors are happy to suggest less costly options, such as generics, if asked.

Finally, consider 90-day prescriptions, especially for chronic conditions.

Getting a 90-day prescription can cost you less than three co-pays over three months.

Warren Buffett’s Favorite Indicator Suggests a Stock Crash Is Coming

Anyone in the realm of finance or the stock market knows Warren Buffett. He is the billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and has been one of the world’s best investors

Some Expected a Junk Bond Explosion. The Data Says Different.

It has been well documented that much corporate debt has been downgraded by the rating services over the course of this pandemic slowdown. However, the actual data shows it not

Iaccino: Some Quick Stock Ideas for an Unsettled Market

RealDaily's Bob Iaccino recently appeared on the Alpha Trader podcast (available here). Co-founder of PureXposure Growth Series and Chief Strategist at Path Trading Partners, Bob writes The Stock Think Tank

biden wins

What I’m Telling Investors to Do If Biden Wins the White House

The value of our Bulletproof Wealth Report model portfolio declined modestly over the past several trading days ending Sept. 27, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 822 points

Options: Meandering Market Tamed by Using a Straddle or a Strangle

When you hear talk of markets trending, people think of uptrends or downtrends. However, markets often get stuck in a trading range. This is the condition where there is no

Warning! Market ‘Death Cross’ Appears

A death cross! According to Investopedia: The death cross is a technical chart pattern indicating the potential for a major selloff. The death cross appears on a chart when a

5 Best Stocks to Buy If Trump Wins the Election

If President Donald Trump wins the election on November 3, 2020, you might want to consider adding these five equities positions to your portfolio: LMT, BAC, AMZN, XLE, TWTR. Why?

5 Best Stocks to Buy If Biden Wins the Election

If Vice President Joe Biden wins the election on November 3, 2020, you might want to consider adding these five equities positions to your portfolio: XLU, TSLA, XLV, MLM, and

TGIF — Ending the Week with a Whimper

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen. In Monday's "The Week Ahead — 200,000 Deaths Weigh Heavily on the Market," we knew the 200,000th American death would put Covid back

Even If the Overall Market Continues Lower, This Staple Could Maintain Its Upward Trend

Since peaking in early September, the main indices have all three stumbled for the last few weeks with the S&P and Nasdaq falling over 10% from their highs already. Three

tesla stock

TSLA Too Volatile? Two Option Strategies for Tesla Stock

Tesla Inc. (TSLA) is one of the most popular stocks amongst investors. Led by CEO Elon Musk the electric vehicle manufacturer has disrupted the transportation industry, bringing hype to a

pot stock

Pot Stock ‘Blood in the Streets’ Buy Signal Is Here

The cannabis market has been a volatile space in recent years. A wave in legalization, particularly in Canada but also through parts of the United States, led to significant growth