According to a new Gallup poll, one in seven Americans would not seek medical attention for coronavirus due to the fear of how much healthcare would cost.
“One out of every seven (14%) U.S. adults report that they would avoid seeking healthcare for a fever and a dry cough for themselves or a member of their household due to concerns about their ability to pay for it,” Gallup wrote in its analysis. “When framed explicitly as believing to have been infected by the novel coronavirus, 9% still report that they would avoid seeking care. Adults under 30, non-whites, those with a high school education or less and those in households with incomes under $40,000 per year are the groups most likely to indicate they would avoid seeking out care.”
“Unwillingness to seek out care due to concerns over cost is related to familiar socioeconomic distinctions,” Gallup continues. “Hispanics and blacks are less likely to have health insurance than are non-Hispanic whites, and those in lower-income households are far more likely to be influenced by cost when considering if they will follow recommended medicine or procedures from their doctors.”
Gallup goes on to observe that confusion might also explain the results of their analysis: “Mentioning coronavirus by name reduces the percentage of people who would not seek treatment by roughly one-third, suggesting that lack of clarity regarding the common symptoms of Covid-19 could be a factor in not pursuing it, beyond household economics or basic access.”
The results are part of an ongoing special study by Gallup and West Health to “assess U.S. public opinion on the cost of healthcare, conducted April 1-14, 2020.”
“Millions of Americans, even in the face of a disease that has brought a country to its knees, would forgo care due to the potential expense and still others may not be clear on the common symptoms of Covid-19,” said Tim Lash, chief strategy officer for West Health, in a press release. “While physicians and healthcare workers are doing courageous and lifesaving work, the pandemic magnifies the longstanding perils and flaws of a high-cost healthcare system in need of reform.”
The novel coronavirus has killed more than 59,000 Americans according to the most up-to-date statistics.