Americans economizing to pay health bills

Oct. 17, 2011 at 12:37 AM

NEW YORK, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Almost half of U.S. adults say their financial situation is worse than a year ago and many are finding ways to save money on healthcare, a survey says.

A survey of 750 U.S. adults by global integrated marketing communications agency Euro RSCG Worldwide in New York in recent weeks indicated 31 percent economized on healthcare appointments, 13 percent switched to cheaper alternatives for prescriptions, 8 percent reduced the frequency of some medication, 7 percent stopped some medication, 7 percent switched to over-the-counter medication, 5 percent consulted an adviser to stretch medication dollars and 3 percent tried alternatives such as acupuncture and yoga.

More than half said they are trimming back on expenses such as dining out, movies, luxuries and big-ticket items to save money for medical needs, the survey said.

Thirty-nine percent said they are actively working to avoid health problems by eating more healthily, exercising more and practicing relaxation techniques.

Twenty-two percent said their health has improved over the past year, but 15 percent say it's worse and 27 percent said they expect their health to improve, while 62 percent expect no change.

No further survey details were provided.

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