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We risk our health and pay more in the long run, says a report.

3 minute read

Two-thirds of Americans put off seeing a doctor this past year and 44 percent did so because they couldn’t afford a $500 out-of-pocket fee, according to health care finance company CarePayment.

Despite that, we seem to be OK with the way things are. Here are some recent polls that say so…

Health insurance contradiction

A recent study from America’s Health Insurance Plan touts that 71 percent of Americans are satisfied with their employer health insurance, but the same number of respondents say they’re concerned over rising costs. That could be why over half (56 percent) say their health plan is the main reason they stay at their current job.

A good employer-sponsored health insurance package is hard to come by. Over half (58 percent) of workers favor a comprehensive benefits package (where health insurance is tied in with dental, vision, life insurance and other benefits) through work over simply an affordable one (42 percent).

AHIP’s survey was conducted by Luntz Global Partners, a market research company. Luntz Global Partners’ VP Phillip Morris, concluded that most workers sticking to a job due to health insurance means the health insurance system works.

“We were surprised to see such a large percentage of American workers who indicated the importance of health coverage in choosing and staying at their job,” Morris says. “The results clearly show that employer coverage is critical to workers, and they oppose the government changing what is working very well for them.”

Maybe for this group. Other survey results say different.

Almost half of workers have a deductible of at least $1,000, which is the amount they have to pay before their insurance kicks in, according to CarePayment. That’s a problem for most Americans seeking medical care. Sixty percent don’t have $500 saved for a car repair, let alone a $1,000 emergency room visit, according to a Bankrate report.

Due to high health care costs and our lack of savings, most Americans put off medical treatment until it ends up costing them more. Leading those Americans to wind up in medical debt following the high costs, which is a burden to roughly a quarter of us under the age of 65, according to CarePayment.

Smiling at healthcare costs

Two-thirds of us can’t see a doctor — but those who can just want one who shows a little compassion, says Health Tap, a health service company.

Most patients (85 percent) feel that’s more important than costs of medical treatment (31 percent). It’s even more important than wait times (48 percent), which usually contributes to patient grief, according to the survey. Doctors have caught on, because most (89 percent) feel compassion is most important in healthcare also.

Interestingly, they put slightly more value in compassion than education and staying up to date on medical knowledge (86 percent). Not without reason, though, 94 percent say their patients are more likely to follow their advice when they show a little compassion.

Let’s just hope we figure out how to save for rising healthcare costs before we’re too old to continue working.

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Healthcare in retirement

Healthcare is estimated to cost $260,000 in our retirement, on top of all our other costs of living. It’s no surprise that 80 percent of Americans are worried about funding their medical costs as they age, says a survey from RBC Wealth Management.

Just because they’re worried about it doesn’t mean all pre-retired Americans are doing something about it. Luckily, most (56 percent) have factored healthcare into their retirement plan, but that means 44 percent haven’t. Then again, half of those who did say there’s a good chance they underestimated how much it’ll cost them, according to the survey.

“Health care is one of the largest expenses we will face in retirement,” says Michael Armstrong, CEO of RBC Wealth Management U.S. “If not properly accounted for, these costs can derail even the most solid retirement plan.

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About the Author

Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Pye is the associate editor of

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