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4.4 percent of Americans don't receive medical care because of cost

CDC data finds percentage down from 6.9 in 2009, but barriers remain

Only 4.4 percent of Americans say they skipped necessary medical care due to cost-related issues in the past year, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics.

Over the past 15 years, the percentage was at an all-time low in 1999 at 4.3 percent but then shot up to 6.9 percent in 2009 and 2010, notes the report. The most recent data comes from a survey conducted in the first three months of 2015.

For both men and women younger than 18, 1.2 percent failed to obtain medical care because of financial reasons; 6.1 percent of those ages 18-64 went without care; and 2.4 percent of those older than 65 did not receive proper care due to cost concerns.

The CDC further breaks down the data by race and ethnicity, and finds that 5.7 percent of Hispanics, 4.1 percent of non-Hispanic white individuals and 5.8 percent of non-Hispanic black individuals failed to obtain needed medical care due to cost at some time during the year.

The report backs up recent findings that 1 in 4 individuals with non-group healthcare coverage did not receive needed care because it cost too much; out of adults with deductibles of $1,500 or more per person in 2014, nearly 30 percent went without needed care because they couldn't afford it, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

And while the Affordable Care Act has helped lower the uninsured rate to 9.2 percent, according to the CDC data--which is lower than its previous estimate of 11.5 percent--the law fails to address to problem of underinsured consumers with substantial out-of-pocket costs. Often, the problem is not deductibles, but rather, the high cost of medical care itself.

For more:
- here's the CDC report (.pdf)

Related Articles:
'Underinsured' Americans latest healthcare reform controversy
ACA plans don't address the underinsurance problem
High deductibles main reason Americans go without medical care
Uninsured rate drops to 11.5 percent