New Gallup Trends Show Almost 40% of Americans Skipped Medical Care Due to Costs

Male doctor discussing with male patient at lobby of medical clinic

An increasing percentage of Americans are skipping out on treatment with the fear of medical costs, financial hardship, and negative views of health care quality.

New Gallup trends showed close to 40% of Americans postponed medical treatment in 2022 due to the cost of health care. 

With a 12% rise from 2021, the percentage of Americans pushing off medical care in 2022 has hit the highest it’s ever been at 38%, according to phone interviews conducted by Gallup.

Of those that delayed or declined treatment, 27% claimed having a “very/somewhat serious condition,” according to the report, while 11% said they had a “not very/not at all serious condition,” Gallup's data showed.

The largest groups reporting ​​​​​​they or someone in their family put off treatment came from the 18-49 age range at 35%, followed by those in the lower-income category at 34%, and women at 32%.

The sharp increase of those deferring medical care due to costs comes at a time when the inflation rate in the U.S is at the highest it’s been in the last 40 years. The percentage of Americans saying health care quality is poor is the largest Gallup has ever seen. 

With rising prices due to inflation, 55% of Americans said they were facing financial hardship in 2022, according to a Gallup report. 

From self-reported surveys, Gallup tracked that the majority of Americans view the quality of health care as either only fair or poor. The percent of those seeing the quality as poor is at 21%, Gallup reported.

Missing preventative health screenings and not getting medical treatment in many cases can cause more dire health circumstances. 

“It's really important to understand that [when] there is a health concern that's ongoing, particularly when you think it might be serious, it's very unlikely that it's going to go away," Dr. Susannah Hills, a pediatric airway surgeon, told CBS News.

The pediatric surgeon urged the public to find free or low-cost treatment options rather than skipping them, the outlet reported.

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