The percentage of Americans reporting they or a family member postponed medical treatment in 2022 due to cost rose 12 points in one year, to 38%, the highest in Gallup’s 22-year trend.
The latest double-digit increase in delaying medical treatment came on the heels of two consecutive 26% readings during the COVID-19 pandemic that were the lowest since 2004. The previous high point in the trend was 33% in 2014 and 2019. An average 29% of U.S. adults reported putting off medical treatment because of cost between 2001 and 2021.
Americans were more than twice as likely to report the delayed treatment in their family was for a serious rather than a nonserious condition in 2022. In all, 27% said the treatment was for a “very” or “somewhat” serious condition or illness, while 11% said it was “not very” or “not at all” serious.
Lower-income adults, younger adults and women in the U.S. have consistently been more likely than their counterparts to say they or a family member have delayed care for a serious medical condition.
In 2022, Americans with an annual household income under $40,000 were nearly twice as likely as those with an income of $100,000 or more to say someone in their family delayed medical care for a serious condition (34% vs. 18%, respectively). Those with an income between $40,000 and less than $100,000 were similar to those in the lowest income group when it comes to postponing care, with 29% doing so.
Source: Gallup News, 17 January 2023
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