Thursday AM March 19th, 2009

image of medical drThe second annual Deloitte survey finds that a quarter have skipped care when they were sick or injured — two in five because they simply could not afford it. Some were not covered by insurance. Vicki Keiser with Deloitte says some consumers are switching physicians, prescriptions or health plans to save money.

"Looking at — before they actually do procedures, maybe even before they even choose physicians — as to what the cost factors are. They're looking at what their insurance pays much more now than what they used to, in terms of selecting a physician, selecting a hospital and then ultimately even depending on whether they're going to do a procedure at a hospital — how much at that particular hospital would there be in out-of-pocket cost."

Keiser says the survey of some 4,000 U.S. consumers finds that 28 per cent had trouble paying medical bills last year, and 84 per cent believe economic conditions will make it harder to do so in the future.

"Actually, only six per cent of those surveyed believed that they were ready for any kind of health care situation that they might face. So obviously that means 94 per cent of the folks sitting out there today believe that they are not ready for a major health care event in their lives, from a financial standpoint. Just generally, as a result of that, is that consumers really do believe that there really do need to be changes in the health care system."

The survey shows that more than half of those enrolled in government plans are happy with health coverage. Some 70 per cent of Medicare consumers and 67 per cent of military health enrollees are satisfied with their health care plans.

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

 

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