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Gallup: 29 percent of Americans delay healthcare because of cost

By
Ed Adamczyk
Twenty-nine percent of Americans delayed healthcare treatment in the past year because of the cost, a Gallup poll said. File Photo by paulbr75/Pixabay/UPI
Twenty-nine percent of Americans delayed healthcare treatment in the past year because of the cost, a Gallup poll said. File Photo by paulbr75/Pixabay/UPI

Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Nearly three in 10 Americans are delaying healthcare treatments because of their cost, a new Gallup survey said Monday.

Gallup's annual Health and Healthcare survey found 29 percent postponed treatment for the cost. It said more than half of them reported a serious or somewhat serious medical illness or condition -- a figure equivalent to 19 percent of all U.S. adults.

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The share of Americans who delayed treatment is consistent with data in recent polls. In 1991, 22 percent of respondents put off medical treatment, and an average of 24 percent delayed care between 2001 and 2004. The current rate of 29 percent has remained steady in every year since.

Delayed treatment depends on available health insurance, another consistent finding. Gallup found those who have no coverage are most likely to forgo treatment -- with over half the respondents in that category reporting a delay.

Those enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid are least likely to wait, the report found.

The poll results said Americans with health insurance are still often responsible for deductibles, co-payments and other out-of-pocket costs. While it reduces demand for healthcare services, it can prevent many people from initiating treatment for medical conditions.

Gallup polled more than 1,000 adults for the survey, which has a margin of error of 4 points.

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