A new study conducted by Amino and Ipsos found that of the 1006 people surveyed, almost two thirds of the respondents viewed receiving medical bills that they could not pay as worse than being diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The state of medical debt in America leads many to view paying medical bills as a evil on par with terminal illness, however despite this view a significant fraction of the population does not budget for unexpected health care costs.
Amino CEO David Vivero told Healthcare Dive about the lack of planning some Americans have:
Many of us aren’t thinking about healthcare as a personal finance issue when we could be a broken bone or serious diagnosis away from debt, educating patients about the importance of saving for out-of-pocket costs or researching the cost of a procedure could help to reduce stress that so many experience when faced with medical bills.
Viewing healthcare costs as a matter of personal finance rather than emergency would greatly alleviate the stresses that Americans feel when it comes to unexpected medical bills. In addition, saving for emergency medical bills reduces the risk of having to take out high interest loans to cover medical costs.
Americans are not educated in the importance of saving for unexpected medical bills nearly as much as they are for other health issues such as smoking or eating right, and this lack of personal finance knowledge can lead to further complications with patients’ health.