Millions Would Avoid Care for Covid-19 Due to Costs
Health Care

Millions Would Avoid Care for Covid-19 Due to Costs

Alex Ivey/The Fiscal Times

A recent Gallup poll finds that 14% of Americans would avoid seeking care for themselves or a family member if they had coronavirus-like symptoms (fever and dry cough), due to worries about cost. When the symptoms were described specifically as coronavirus infection, 9% of respondents still said they would avoid treatment due to costs.

“Recent research has shown that millions of Americans know someone who has died in the last 12 months due to their inability to pay for treatment and that $88 billion in borrowing occurred over the last year for healthcare,” Gallup said. “As such, results that show 14% unwilling to seek treatment for COVID-19 symptoms and another 9% unwilling to seek treatment -- even when coronavirus is suspected -- should not be shocking, even amid the outbreak.”

Gallup noted that such fears are not unfounded. Although testing is now free for most Americans thanks to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a trip to the hospital could still run thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs: “For example, if the doctor consulted determines that the visit does not justify a test, or is out-of-network, or if the trip requires treatment for other conditions not related to COVID-19, the health law does not cover the costs of the visit.”