Health care costs are continuing to hit American families. A statistic from about 3 years ago stated that 17 cents of every dollar spent in America went toward some form of health care cost. Here is some information from a more recent study:
"American families are having to dig deeper into their pockets to cover health-care costs.
"A new report finds that, as of 2002, 15 percent of U.S. families (18 million households) had high out-of-pocket health-care costs relative to their income. "High" was defined as 10 percent or more of household income for all families and 5 percent or more of income for low-income families.
"When premiums were included, the picture worsened, with 23 percent of U.S. families, or 27 million families, having to spend high levels of their total income on health care in 2002.
"The new report used national data to analyze trends in out-of-pocket health-care spending between 1996-97 and 2001-02. Among the other findings:
- Out-of-pocket health-care spending increased an average of 35 percent between 1996 and 2002, while the average family income grew only 20 percent.
- Elderly individuals had the highest out-of-pocket spending, but non-elderly families took a hit as well. Ten percent of families without elderly members (about 10 million families) had high out-of-pocket costs. When premiums were added in, that number rose to 17 percent.
- Low-income families also suffered disproportionately. "The first families that are feeling this in terms of a real squeeze are those that are on more restrictive incomes, those who can least afford it," Schoen said.
"Overall, fewer and fewer people seem able to afford adequate health-care coverage, the report found."
To read the full story, go to: https://health.ivillage.com/familycare/ins/0,,wbnews_8rjsfhpj,00.html?dst=rss|wb