Friday, July 25, 2008

AMERICANS CUTTING BACK ON HEALTHCARE

NPR - In a new poll conducted in Florida and Ohio for NPR by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, one in four people say they're having trouble paying their medical bills. Many are middle-class people with jobs and health insurance. And some even say they earn six-figure incomes.

According to the survey, 30 percent of people in Florida say they've put off needed medical care. And 41 percent in Florida say they've skipped dental care . . .

In addition to postponing the care they need, 28 percent of Floridians say they ignored a doctor's advice to get a medical test or treatment. That's 11 percentage points more than when the same question was asked in a national poll three years ago. . .

About 25 percent say they've recently chosen not to fill a prescription and about 20 percent say they've cut pills in half or skipped doses to save money.

Nearly half of the respondents with jobs say they'd gone to work when they were sick because they worried about the financial consequences of missing work. . .

The poll had another surprising finding: One in four people in Ohio and one in five in Florida say they've gotten collection agencies chasing them. The most common reason: unpaid health bills.

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