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Families struggle to pay medical bills, survey finds
Maggie Fox NBC News January 28, 2014
More than a quarter of U.S. families are burdened by having to pay for medical care, and almost one in six struggle to pay health care bills, federal researchers reported on Tuesday.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act is designed to reduce the burden by getting health insurance to more Americans. But the report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that even families with health insurance can struggle to pay bills.
“In 2012, 26.8 percent of families in the United States experienced any financial burden of medical care, the NCHS team writes in its report. “Almost 1 in 6 families (16.5 percent) had problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months.” And nearly nine percent said they had medical bills they couldn’t pay at all.
The NCHS team looked at results from a large national survey of more than 43,000 families covering 108,000 people.
Having kids often leads to large medical bills, the report finds. “One in three families with children (36 percent) experienced any financial burden of medical care, the team reported. This compares to 25 percent of families with two adults and no children.
Families with a mix of insured and non-insured members seemed to have the worst time paying bills. The survey found trouble paying bills among 46 percent of families in which some members had insurance — for instance, a child covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program but whose parents had no insurance. And 40 percent of families with no health insurance at all reported financial burden.
Even in families where everyone had private insurance, medical bills often caused hardship, with 21 percent reporting financial burden from medical care.
Other reports have shown that costly illnesses trigger about half of all personal bankruptcies in the United States and that 26 percent of U.S. women had trouble paying medical bills in the United States in 2009-2010.
Consider the Alternative
When it comes to health, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." We have all heard this phrase at some point in our lives, and yet, noone heeds the sentiment. We continue to practice "reactive healthcare" instead of "responsive healthcare." And now that the "Affordable Healthcare Act" is here, we are all being asked to pay into a system that is more about paying for care that involves more screenings, more testing, more treatments, more surgeries, and more drugs/medication; with less results and more poor health. World Health Statisitics has the United States ranking 51st in the world compared to all the other countries. There are 50 other countries whose citezens live longer and have better quality of life than we do here in the U.S. In spite of that fact, we spend more money by far (2X) what the second rated country spends, and yet we are number one in obesity. Is it possible the system we employ in this country is more about profits and less about results? I think the numbers speak for themselves. So what is a consumer supposed to do?
At Advanced Alternative Medicine Center, we cannot give you medication to mask your symptoms and lead you to believe your problem has been addressed. Therefore, we have to get to the source of your concern. With there being 3 main causes of all health concerns, Dr. Huntoon takes the time to fully evaluate, explain the results and develop a personalized plan for you to get your health back. And it by-passes the health insurance because health insurance is based on making profits. It is designed to have you pay for care that does not and will not get you well. Infact, the Medicare Guidelines (no longer published) states "Care that seeks to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong and enhance the quality of life, is NOT considered medically necessary." And appreciate that all health insurance makes their own policy fall in line with that of the government and Medicare. So consider that "health insurance" as we have in this country will never pay for you to be well. In fact, it is predicated on keeping you symptom free but not to prevent disease, promote health and prolong and enhance the quality of life. So what does thsat mean for you? You have a tough decision to make.
To support as many people as possible in their quest for health and enable them to improve and maintain their health to the highest level possible, while educating them about the benefits of Chiropractic, Natural Healthcare and Holistic Living, so they in turn can teach others to support us having a healthy community.