New International Survey: Health Care Costs, Insurance Paperwork Affect U.S. Adults Most

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<p>A <a href="/publications/journal-article/2013/nov/access-affordability-and-insurance-complexity-are-often-worse">new international survey</a> from The Commonwealth Fund finds that adults in the United States are far more likely than those in 10 other high-income industrialized nations to go without health care because of the cost, encounter difficulties paying medical bills, and deal with time-consuming health insurance paperwork or disputes, including claims that were unexpectedly not paid. </p><p>The study, published today as a <em>Health Affairs</em> Web First, finds that more than one-third of U.S. adults went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions because of cost concerns, compared to as few as 4 percent to 6 percent in the U.K. and Sweden. And about two of five in the U.S. spent $1,000 or more out-of-pocket for care in the past year, even those who were insured all year—by far the highest rate in the 11-country study. </p>
<p>"The U.S. health system has long been an outlier when it comes to costs, access, and affordability," said Cathy Schoen, a Commonwealth Fund senior vice president and the article’s lead author. "This study clearly underscores the need to simplify our health insurance system and ensure that people can get and afford the care they need."</p>
<p>Visit <a href="/publications/journal-article/2013/nov/access-affordability-and-insurance-complexity-are-often-worse"></a> to read more about the survey and view our infographic. </p>