Americans cite high health care costs as top financial concern

Jan 26, 2015 | Health Insurance Billing

According to a new Gallup poll, Americans cite the rising cost of healthcare as the greatest financial concern going into 2015, along with low wages. The annual study has forecasted the financial burdens on average Americans for the last decade, and over the last four years, medical care has risen to share the top spot with insufficient income. Data points also indicated that middle-class Americans are most vulnerable to feeling pressure around medical costs. 

"For complaints about health care costs, the differences were stark: 18 percent of the middle-income participants said health care costs are an important problem," writes Allison Bell of Life Health Pro. "Only 13 percent of the high-income participants and 10 percent of the low-income participants said health care costs are an important problem."

The trend is troubling for families and individuals who contend with both of the top problems: rising health care costs and insufficient income. As people face medical necessities and the realities of cost in the health care field, it's likely their household income may not be enough to cover their treatment. Fourteen percent of respondents isolated each of those worries, while 9 percent expressed concern about their ability to manage and pay off outstanding debts. 

When two or more of these issues converge on one individual or family budget, the repercussions can be significant. The study indicates that unavoidable costs and the inability to pay them can create a spiral of compounding debt. For accounts receivable management, this requires additional bandwidth to collect outstanding medical costs. Outsourcing receivables management can relieve the burden on healthcare management administrators by reducing caseloads and allowing them to focus on high-priority debts.