News: Inflation forcing patients to cut back on medical care

September 19, 2008

Many patients are responding to higher prices for basic goods by cutting back on their medical care. About 22 percent of U.S. consumers say they're visiting their doctors less.

Despite what the results from the CDC survey may imply, many patients are responding to higher prices for basic necessities by cutting back on their medical care. About 22 percent of U.S. consumers say they're visiting their doctors less, and 11 percent are cutting back on the number of medications they take or reducing the dosage to stretch their supply, according to a study of 686 consumers by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Delaying medical treatment and regular physicals puts consumers at risk for potential health issues and increases overall health insurance costs," says NAIC President Sandy Praeger. While consumers might be making budget cuts in other areas, the NAIC survey revealed that 85 percent have not reduced, canceled, or otherwise made changes to their health insurance policies.