Saturday, January 17, 2009

Health Care You Can’t Afford Not to Afford

One in three American families struggles to pay medical bills, according to a recent survey, and nearly half say a family member has postponed necessary medical care. With the recession in full swing, more and more Americans seem to be putting their health-care needs on the back burner as they struggle to handle monthly bills and day-to-day expenses. 

About one in three Americans say their family has had problems paying medical bills in the past year, according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group focused on health care. More alarming, almost half of those surveyed said someone in their family was postponing or cutting back on medical care they said they needed.

If you or your family are forced into this type of economic triage, you’ve got to do it wisely, says Dr. Ted Epperly, the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The truth is, some health care can probably be safely put off until you’re feeling more flush. If you’re due for your annual physical, for instance, and you feel fine, you can wait a few months before forking over that hefty co-payment. Even children, once they are past vaccination age, can skip a check-up or two, as long as they are healthy and at a normal weight.
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