Mainers Survey on the Burden of Health Care Affordability / Public Information Service

A new poll has found that a majority of Mainers are struggling to afford the medical care they need.

Supporters of improving access to health care say Governor Janet Mills and the Legislature have taken steps to address the issues, such as creating a Prescription Drug Accessibility Council in Maine, expanding coverage options and providing grants to small businesses to help them pay for insurance premiums. But they also say that more needs to be done.

Elise Lowry, public health analyst for Altarum HealthCare Value Hub, which conducted the survey, said nearly 65% ​​of adults in Maine reported having had a burden of healthcare affordability in the past year. .

“The burden of affordability can include going without coverage due to the high cost of insurance, delaying or abandoning care due to affordability issues, obtaining care or struggling. to pay the resulting medical bills, ”Lowry explained.

She noted that the burdens of affordability lay at all income levels, and when it comes to age, 18 to 34 year olds have borne the greatest burdens. Four in five Maine residents said they feared having coverage at some point in the future.

Lowry pointed out that prescription drugs are one of the most, if not the most common medical services provided in the United States, with more than half of Americans taking one or more prescription drugs. She added that more than half of adults in Maine have expressed concerns about the cost.

“Almost a third of adults in Maine split their medications in one way or another,” Lowry explained. “Like cutting pills in half, not filling a prescription or skipping a dose of medicine.”

The survey also showed that many Mainers are concerned about paying hospital bills. More than half of adults in the state said they feared being able to know in advance the cost of a procedure.

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