U.S. adults skip needed health care more often than others around the world

December 8, 2023

Voices for Affordable Health often hears from people who are unable to afford health care or medications – so they skip them altogether. There’s now a new study that sheds more light on how income levels play a part.

According to a survey by the Commonwealth Fund, 46% of low or average-income Americans reported skipping medical care due to costs, while only 29% of higher-income individuals did the same.

That’s not all. The survey polled adults in nine countries and the results show that people in the U.S. are skipping medical care more often than adults in other countries. Take, for example, New Zealand, where 34% of people reported skipping medical care, compared to 46% in the U.S. In the U.K., Netherlands, Germany and France, 16% reported skipping care.

The survey also revealed income-related gaps in dental and mental health care: 46% of low or average-income Americans skipped dental care due to costs, compared to 24% of higher earners. Similarly, 21% of low or average-income individuals reported skipping mental health care, while only 14% of higher earners did the same.

The survey highlighted that 44% of people in the U.S., regardless of income, faced difficulties paying or handling medical bills in the past year.

What about you? Have you skipped appointments or prescriptions because of the costs? Share your story with us here.