The share of Americans who skipped medical treatment last year because of costs rose substantially from the lows of 2020 and 2021, per a Federal Reserve Survey out Monday.
Why it matters: The ability to afford health care often translates into better health.
- The survey also found that in families with income less than $25,000, 75% reported being in good health, compared with 91% for those with income of $100,000 or more.
Zoom out: Inflation walloped Americans across income levels in 2022, causing many to cut back on spending — and that includes health care, an area people feel they can cut when times are tight.
- The most commonly skipped form of medical treatment was the dentist, followed by seeing a doctor and paying for a prescription.
- 35% of Americans said their financial situation was worse in 2022 than the year prior, per the survey. That’s the largest share on record since the Fed started asking the question a decade ago, Axios’ Courtenay Brown reported.
Context: Back in 2020 and 2021, a record low share of Americans skipped medical treatment due to cost, likely because they had more cash in their pockets thanks to COVID-era stimulus, as well as more access to health care — Medicaid coverage was also expanded in the pandemic.
What to watch: If the line on that chart rises more next year. Millions of Americans are expected to lose Medicaid access this year as the pandemic-related expansions end.
- Those without insurance are twice as likely to skip treatment, the Fed survey found.