Even Insured Workers Postpone Healthcare Due to Costs, Suffer Consequences

Even Insured Workers Postpone Healthcare Due to Costs, Suffer Consequences
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya

A recent study has shed light on the challenges faced by approximately 69 million workplace-insured Americans who found themselves covering their healthcare expenses out-of-pocket without exceeding their deductible in 2023. The findings of the "Hidden Lives of Workplace-Insured Americans" report were based on surveys conducted with thousands of workers, revealing that 40% of respondents admitted to delaying healthcare due to cost constraints. This delay not only impacted their personal well-being but also had negative repercussions on workplace culture, mental health, and productivity. 

Representative Image | Unsplash | Photo by National Cancer Institute
Image Source: Representative Image | Unsplash | Photo by National Cancer Institute

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The study conducted by Payteint underscores the growing concern over skyrocketing healthcare costs in the United States, affecting individuals across various segments of society.

Furthermore, the survey highlighted that approximately 45% of respondents failed to meet their single coverage deductible in 2023, falling short by an average of $1,482. Consequently, the financial strain compelled nearly 69 million workplace-insured workers to bear the brunt of healthcare expenses out of their own pockets. 

The repercussions of delayed healthcare are significantly impacting insured workers across the nation. According to recent findings, one in six respondents reported that their work performance was compromised due to health issues they couldn't afford to treat. Among the 40% who admitted to delaying healthcare, a staggering 69% confessed to being distracted by pain while at work.

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Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Laura James
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Laura James

Moreover, it was revealed that approximately 20 million insured workers found themselves in emergency rooms as a result of prolonged delays in seeking medical attention. Additionally, 38% of respondents who postponed care experienced worsening health conditions over time.

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The impact of delayed treatment extends to more severe consequences as well, with over 10 million workplace-insured Americans having to undergo surgery because they waited too long to address their medical conditions.

Shockingly, this situation has prompted about 17% of workplace-insured individuals to leave their jobs in search of better healthcare affordability.


Out of those whose work was affected by delayed care, approximately 31% admitted to misleading their employers about their activities while dealing with the consequences. Whereas, 19% resorted to juggling multiple jobs simultaneously to generate income earmarked for healthcare expenses.

Analysis of the survey data highlighted the areas where workers most commonly postponed healthcare due to cost concerns. Approximately 56% of respondents delayed dental care, followed by 48% delaying specialist or referral visits, 39% delaying primary care, and 26% delaying mental health care due to financial constraints.

Furthermore, 32% postponed regular visits or check-ups, 27% delayed regular treatment for chronic conditions, and 23% delayed emergency visits or urgent care.

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-a-stethoscope-40568/
Image Source: Photo by Pixabay | Pexels 

Another concerning aspect highlighted by the research is the significant contribution of medication non-adherence to healthcare expenses. Studies suggest that 33% to 69% of all medication-related hospitalizations stem from non-adherence, resulting in healthcare costs soaring to approximately $100 billion annually.

The Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker report projects a 5% growth in healthcare spending in the United States between 2023 and 2024, reaching a staggering total of $4.9 trillion. Healthcare prices stand out as a major driving force behind this expenditure surge.

According to a report by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation (PGPF), healthcare service costs are escalating at a faster rate compared to other goods and services. Over the past two decades, while the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose by an average of 2.6% annually, the CPI-U for medical care surged at an average rate of 3.1% per year.


Despite spending more on healthcare goods and services, the United States falls behind other countries when evaluating common health metrics. This disparity highlights a significant demand for healthcare services in the nation.

Consequently, this places considerable strain on an already burdened economy, thereby affecting even insured workers.


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