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Survey reveals 72% of consumers unable to pay health care bills immediately

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Article

Any bill more than $500 poses significant financial problems for many Americans

Americans struggle with medical bills: ©Shisu Ka - stock.adobe.com

Americans struggle with medical bills: ©Shisu Ka - stock.adobe.com

A survey commissioned by AccessOne found that 72% of consumers find themselves unable or unwilling to pay their health care bills immediately.

The survey engaged over 1,000 American adults to delve into their health care spending habits, how they manage medical bills, and their expectations regarding payment flexibility from health care providers.

Among the key findings, 68% of those who delayed payment cited financial constraints as the primary reason. The rising cost of health care is taking a toll, with four out of 10 respondents reporting an increase in health care costs. In addition, nearly half of those surveyed (48%) have taken drastic measures to curb expenses, including postponing essential care and forgoing prescription medications.

The survey also found that almost a third of respondents expressed no confidence whatsoever in their ability to settle a medical bill exceeding $500. While some individuals resort to dipping into personal savings, 32% turn to personal credit cards, exacerbating their financial burden, according to the report.

For payment methods, the survey found that more than half of respondents prefer digital channels for bill payment updates. Notably, 30% of Gen Z respondents and 22% of millennials specifically favor secure text messages for this purpose.

AccessOne CEO, Mark Spinner, emphasized the critical link between patient satisfaction and the financial experience provided by healthcare providers. He stated, "Understanding that patients need payment options and delivering an array of them are critical capabilities for sustainable financial performance in today’s health care operating environment."

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