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Worries about costs keep US adults from seeking medical attention

Washington, Dec 19 (Prensa Latina) Worries about what emergency care might cost them have kept more than 20% of Americans older adults (aged 50 to 80) from seeking medical attention even when they felt they might need it, a new study shows.

In all, 22% of older adults who may have needed care from the emergency department didn’t go because of concerns about what they might have to pay, according to the new findings published in the American Journal of Managed Care.

According to the survey, the financial impact is a major concern for older adults who have not yet reached Medicare eligibility age and do not meet Medicaid income thresholds.

“As an emergency physician, I have seen patients come to the emergency room having postponed their care,” Rachel Solnick, M.D., M.SC., Lead Author, said in a statement. “These findings highlight the importance of reducing the number of uninsured individuals and the need for insurers to clearly communicate coverage for emergency services,” she said.

Older Americans face a higher risk of financial insecurity, and about half are unable to pay for essential expenses, the authors wrote.

In addition, as the number of US adults increases, more demand will be placed on an already overburdened health care system.


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