11 Statistics on Patient Financial Stress
Posted on Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Current research on patient financial stress demonstrates the significant strain that medical bills, health insurance premiums, and healthcare costs place on many Americans today.
In fact, a recent survey of U.S. adults found that more people (40%) fear the medical bills resulting from a serious illness than fear the illness itself (33%).¹
Here are 10 more revealing statistics related to patient financial stress:
1.) 55% – The percentage of Americans who worry a “great deal” about the affordability and availability of healthcare. ²
2.) 73% – The percentage of U.S. adults who are concerned about their ability to pay for healthcare costs if they become sick or injured. ³
3.) $500 or less – The healthcare costs that 42% of Americans can afford before having financial issues. ³
4.) 45% – The percentage of U.S. adults who fear going bankrupt due to a major health event. ⁴
5.) 137.1 million – The number of Americans who report having medical financial hardship. ⁵
6.) 58% and 60% – The percentage of lower-income and higher-income households that consider the cost of medications a stressor, respectively. ⁶
7.) 57% and 56% – The percentage of lower-income and higher-income households that view medical bills as a source of stress, respectively. ⁶
8.) 66% – The percentage of Americans who are stressed by the cost of health insurance. ⁶
9.) 57% – The percentage of Americans who have been surprised by a medical bill that they expected health insurance to cover. ⁷
10.) 82% – The percentage of patients who say hospitals are “very” or “somewhat” responsible for surprise medical bills. ⁷
Reducing Patient Financial Stress
A patient eligibility service can reduce patient financial stress.
EligibilityAdvocates’ patient eligibility service reduces patient financial stress by finding monetary sources to help pay their medical bills and by providing them with financial counseling through on-site patient advocates.
Both financial assistance and financial counseling can reduce patient financial stress and the confusion that often fuels it. By instituting a patient eligibility service at your facility, you can ensure that fewer of your patients fall within the statistics listed above.
¹ NORC at the University of Chicago / West Health Institute – “New Survey Finds Large Number of People Skipping Necessary Medical Care Because of Cost” (2018) ² Gallup – “Healthcare Once Again Tops List of Americans’ Worries” (2019) ³ The Physicians Foundation – “The Physicians Foundation 2019 Patient Survey” (2019) ⁴ Gallup – “Americans Fear Personal and National Healthcare Cost Crisis” (2019) ⁵ Yabroff, K.R., Zhao, J., Han, X. et al. – Journal of General Internal Medicine (2019) 34: 1494. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-019-05002-w ⁶ American Psychological Association – “Stress in America™: Uncertainty About Healthcare” (2018) ⁷ NORC at the University of Chicago – “New Survey Reveals 57% of Americans Have Been Surprised by a Medical Bill” (2018)