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Rising Medical Costs in COVID-19 Era Threaten Holiday Spending

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The second annual nationwide on-line survey of 1,138 U.S. adults checked out how medical prices over the past two years have affected Individuals through the vacation season and year-round, in addition to the speed of hospital visits, regrets associated to well being care protection choices and COVID-19’s ramifications.

The continuing rise in well being care prices is hitting American households onerous, and the challenges posed by the worldwide well being disaster are an aggravating issue. Amongst households with youngsters underneath 18 of their family who visited the hospital up to now two years, 70% confronted vital out-of-pocket medical bills past a copay or deductible throughout their most up-to-date hospital go to. Of those, 64% stated they spent $500 or extra in out-of-pocket prices, up from 58% in 2019, and 45% of households stated they spent $1,000 or extra in out-of-pocket prices, up from 37% final yr.

“As a mom of three and a businesswoman, I’ve seen firsthand how the pandemic has formed every little thing from how and the place youngsters study to how and the place staff work,” stated Stephanie Shields, senior vp of Dealer Gross sales at Aflac. “In a yr ripe with change, one fixed stays: Excessive medical prices proceed disrupting American households, lots of whom could also be unprepared for the out-of-pocket bills medical insurance would not cowl.”

Due to these monetary difficulties, many households might discover it troublesome to fill of their family members’ stockings this vacation season. Inside the previous two years, almost 3 in 4 (71%) households stated they needed to make some kind of sacrifice or onerous resolution through the vacation season due to medical value issues, together with:

  • Fewer presents beneath the tree — Greater than 1 in 5 stated they spent much less on vacation presents or went with out giving them altogether (23%), determined in opposition to buying a present for a liked one (21%) and lowered their total vacation spending (21%).
  • Dangerous debt on the rooftop — Practically one-third (28%) stated they relied on a bank card, and 21% borrowed cash from a buddy or member of the family.
  • House alone for the vacations — Over 1 in 5 stated they canceled occasions (23%) and put a cease to journey plans to see household or associates (21%).

As well as, over one-third of households (37%) stated they made well being care protection choices they remorse inside the previous two years. The highest causes for this advantages regret embrace selecting a plan with restricted advantages (41%), selecting too excessive of a deductible (40%), going to an out-of-network physician (39%) and never sufficiently researching advantages (31%).

“It is pure for individuals to have regrets after making choices about their medical plan, which might affect their future,” stated Shields. “Whereas nobody may have foreseen what’s occurred in 2020, it’s important to study from the previous and educate your self on the function well being care advantages like supplemental insurance coverage can play in serving to with the bills medical insurance would not cowl. Doing so can result in higher confidence within the protection you select and, hopefully, fewer regrets and monetary woes, which means households can deal with getting and staying properly.”

COVID-19’s Affect

On the time of the survey, 16% of households stated they or a member of their family was identified with or acquired therapy for COVID-19, making it the third prime well being situation amongst eight prevalent circumstances offered that households stated they confronted. However its impression has been staggering: In comparison with the 62% of households surveyed who stated they’ve been to a hospital up to now two years for an outpatient process, an in a single day keep or each, a full 3 in 4 households who confronted COVID-19 stated they or somebody of their family required hospitalization because of this.

The highest-two circumstances surveyed households stated they’ve encountered are diabetes (35%) and most cancers (16%), with coronary heart assault (14%) and stroke (13%) rating a detailed fourth and fifth. In keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every of those circumstances is a typical comorbidity placing the bothered at a heightened danger of extreme sickness from COVID-19.

Curiously, over 3 in 4 (79%) of those that stated they or a family member was identified with or acquired therapy for COVID-19 additionally stated they confronted medical bills past a copay or deductible throughout their most up-to-date hospital go to. Regardless of the explanation or season, these households have needed to make onerous decisions about their well being and funds attributable to medical prices year-round, together with counting on a bank card (44%), suspending seeing a medical skilled (37%) or taking a member of the family to see a medical skilled (33%), working further to offset medical bills (31%) and taking out a mortgage (30%).

Maybe not shocking, for individuals who stated they or a family member was identified with or acquired therapy for COVID-19, 62% admit protection regrets inside the previous two years.

Survey findings for all respondents, not simply households with youngsters, are additionally accessible and held regular throughout all teams. Be taught extra concerning the monetary results of well being care points and the way Aflac might help with the bills medical insurance would not cowl at Aflac.com/HCI.

Methodology
The 2020 Aflac Well being Care Points Survey is a nationwide on-line survey of 1,138 U.S. adults fielded in August 2020 by Hill+Knowlton Methods. To study extra concerning the survey findings, go to Aflac.com/HCI.

About Aflac Integrated
Aflac Integrated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 firm, serving to present safety to greater than 50 million individuals by means of its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., the place it’s a main supplemental insurer by paying money quick when policyholders get sick or injured. For greater than six a long time, insurance coverage insurance policies of Aflac Integrated’s subsidiaries have given policyholders the chance to deal with restoration, not monetary stress. Aflac Life Insurance coverage Japan is the main supplier of medical and most cancers insurance coverage in Japan, the place it insures 1 in 4 households. Fortune journal acknowledged Aflac as one of many 100 Greatest Corporations to Work for in America for 20 consecutive years. For 14 consecutive years, Aflac has been acknowledged by Ethisphere as one of many World’s Most Moral Corporations. In 2020, Fortune included Aflac Integrated on its record of World’s Most Admired Corporations for the nineteenth time, and Bloomberg added Aflac Integrated to its Gender-Equality Index, which tracks the monetary efficiency of public corporations dedicated to supporting gender equality by means of coverage growth, illustration and transparency. To learn to get assist with bills medical insurance would not cowl, get to know us at Aflac.com.

Aflac | Aflac New York | WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Highway | Columbus, GA 31999.

Media contact: Jon Sullivan, 706.573.7610 or [email protected]

Analyst and investor contact: David A. Younger, 706.596.3264 or [email protected]

SOURCE Aflac Integrated

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