More Younger Individuals Choosing to Skip Healthcare Procedures, Doctor’s Visits Because of Costs: Survey

When it comes to being able to afford to pay for healthcare, younger individuals are having a significantly harder time than older individuals, according to the results of a survey that was released over the weekend.

Nearly one-third of people under the age of 35 have put off, delayed, or canceled a healthcare procedure because of the cost, compared with only 8% of those over the age of 65 who have done so, according to the survey. Overall, 20% of the survey’s respondents said they have delayed or canceled a procedure because of the cost.

“I am pretty impressed that it was only 20 percent that had postponed or delayed or canceled health care services,” said Dr. Anil Jain, vice president and chief health information officer for IBM Watson Health. “I thought it would be higher.”

When asked whether they have had difficulty paying for a healthcare service, such as a doctor’s visit or medical procedure, in the past three months, 25.5% of the respondents said yes. Again, it was young people leading the way, with 41% of individuals under the 35 who have done so, compared with only 11% of those over the age of 65.

It’s not just medical procedures and doctor’s visits that are giving individuals pause when it comes to the costs. Nearly 19% of the respondents have had difficult paying for prescription medicine in the past three months. Among generational, 43% of Millennials reported not having picked up a prescription because of the cost, compared with only 8.2% for members of the Silent Generation and 11.8% of Baby Boomers.

While 68% of the survey’s respondents said they were aware that some drug manufacturers offered coupons to help cover the cost of their medicines, only 34% had used a coupon when picking up a prescription.



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