NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the COVID-19 pandemic upends the American health care system, 60% of Americans reported that they put off doctors' appointments due to fears of contracting the virus, and 50% of Americans said they've experienced delays in obtaining necessary medication according to a new ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree survey. The survey explores what medical hardships looked like in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how Americans have coped over the past six months. Here are the key findings:
- 50% of Americans have been forced to go a day or longer without needed medication amid the pandemic. 30.1% of said this was due to their medications being out of stock, 21% said this was due to mail delays, while 9% said they couldn't afford to pay for their medications.
- 60% of Americans skipped or put off a medical appointment during the coronavirus pandemic, and most did so to reduce their risk of contracting the virus. 26% skipped their annual wellness visit with a physician, while 24% bypassed a dental cleaning. More concerningly, 9% of Americans skipped a major medical procedure, and 6% said that they skipped a mental health appointment.
- Men were more likely to skip a preventive health visit than women, as well as experience a delay in obtaining medication. A full third of men put off their annual wellness visit due to the pandemic, compared to a fifth of women.
- Nearly one in 10 Americans worried about their ability to access health care. 31% of Americans cited long wait times due to the coronavirus pandemic as their main concern. Americans were also worried about costs of health care and health insurance, with 29% saying they could not afford it.
According to Sterling Price, a research analyst at ValuePenguin.com, "A common thread throughout this survey was that Americans are feeling the economic strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and this is making them put off getting the critical medical care that they need. While doing this once or twice may not be harmful, breaking habits and not focusing on your health can lead to more serious health complications." He adds, "Completely going without health insurance puts Americans at tremendous risk. For those who qualify, the cheapest health insurance option would be to enroll in the federal Medicaid program. For Americans who can't qualify for Medicaid, comparing the multiple health insurance plans available via state health insurance marketplaces is the best way to find a plan that fits your budget."
ValuePenguin commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,028 Americans, with the sample base proportioned to represent the overall population. The survey was fielded Sept. 11-14, 2020. To view the full report, visit: https://www.valuepenguin.com/health-insurance-covid-medication-delays
About ValuePenguin.com: ValuePenguin.com, part of LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE), is a personal finance website that conducts in-depth research and provides objective analysis to help guide consumers to the best financial decisions. ValuePenguin focuses on value, assessing whether the return of a particular decision is worth the cost or risk of that option, and how this stacks up with the other possible choices they may have. For more information, please visit www.valuepenguin.com, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @ValuePenguin.
Divya Sangam (Ms.)
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