U.S. At The Bottom Of Yet Another Health Care Survey

An eleven country survey focusing on health care access, cost, and insurance coverage found that adults in the United States are by far the most likely to go without care because of costs, have trouble paying medical bills, encounter high medical bills even when insured, and have disputes with insurers or payments denied. EVEN WHEN INSURED!

“The US stands out for the most negative insurance-related experiences,” the New York-based Commonwealth Fund, the private foundation that carried out the study, said in an accompanying statement.

The study found that a third of US adults “went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions because of costs,” it said.

That compares to as few as five to six percent in the Netherlands and Britain, according to the study.

A fifth of Americans had “major problems” paying medical bills, compared to nine percent in France, the next highest country, two percent in Britain, three percent in Germany and four percent in the Netherlands, it said.

Americans were also the most likely to have disputes with their insurance providers or discover insurance would not pay as they had expected. The study found that 31 percent of Americans either spent “a lot of time” dealing with insurance paperwork, had their insurer deny a claim, or had their insurer pay less than they anticipated.

The survey, published on the Health Affairs website, was conducted among 19,700 adults from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and the United States.

America, we continue to pay more and more for insurance coverage, yet, fewer and fewer of us are able to afford to go to the doctor. What’s that about? The more we pay on premiums the lousier our coverage; our out of pocket expenses have gone through the roof! The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will allow many of us to buy policies that limit how much our out of pocket expenses can be and protect us from the unscrupulous behaviors of insurance companies (like, dropping us when we get sick and denying us insurance if we have pre-existing conditions).

Additionally, many of us cannot see a doctor because there aren’t any in the communities we live in. All the insurance in the world won’t help here. The ACA will address these disparities by providing financial  incentives to medical students who study primary care and serve in underserved communities. It still baffles me that even with the shocking results from this survey, there are some in Congress hell bent on repealing the ACA. For those of you who are satisfied with their insurance I say, just wait until you try to use it. For congressmen wanting to repeal the law-GIVE UP YOUR INSURANCE AND SEE HOW YOU DO!

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