As the number of uninsured Americans falls, it is perhaps not surprising that more people are getting care they might otherwise have skipped.
A survey from the Center for Disease Control found that the number of people who avoided needed medical care because of its cost decreased from 6.9 percent in 2010 to 4.4. percent in 2015.
The survey did not indicate whether those who neglected medical care were insured or not, but data suggests that those lacking insurance are the most likely to not bother going to the doctor.
Unsurprisingly, adults who are too young to qualify for Medicare are most likely not to seek necessary medical care. While 6.1 percent of such adults reported forgoing care because of financial concerns, only 2.4 percent of those over the age of 64 reported doing so. Only 1.2 percent of children under the age of 18 did not get necessary care because either they or their parents were worried about the cost.
The decline comes after years of steady increases in the number of people too cost-conscious to seek medical attention. The percentage increased from 4.5 percent in 1997 to a high of 6.8 percent in 2010. The uptick in people avoiding care in the first decade of the millenium may very well be linked to tough economic times.
Like many other studies, the CDC survey showed a significant decline in the uninsured rate. Also encouraging for Americans’ health, the survey showed that the smoking rate, which stood at 16.8 percent in 2014, had declined to 15.2 percent this year.