More Americans postpone doctor visits due to costs

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Americans have a tough choice to make: See a doctor or feed their families.

One-third facing a medical emergency prolong seeing the doctor because they can’t afford the treatment, says a recent survey from Regions Bank. More than 3 in 4 are torn between buying daily necessities like food or paying down their medical debt.

A Regions Bank manager and spokesperson of the survey says ignoring your health can lead to more expensive treatments later.

“Medical events can be traumatic and unpredictable – and the resulting debt can add greater stress to the healing process,” Joye Hehn says. “Being prepared beforehand and knowing how to address medical debt can make a significant difference to staying on track with your finances.”

For help managing your healthcare debt, consider working with a fiduciary financial advisor. Find an advisor who serves your area today (Sponsored).


It’s a tough ask when Americans weren’t prepared for the pandemic or its damage to their finances.

A health crisis begets a medical debt crisis

The survey’s authors point to the outbreak of COVID-19 as one major cause of medical debt. Similar research shows the number of Americans with medical bills increased during the height of the pandemic.

One Regions Bank manager suggests that debt has lingered despite the growing lapse in time.

“During the pandemic, many Americans found themselves without work or insurance coverage, putting a strain on their ability to pay off old medical debt or manage new expenses,” Wendi Boyen said. “Even as the pandemic eases, many still struggle with this debt.”

Regions Bank isn’t the only organization to track how the pandemic and its subsequent inflation are hurting those with medical debt.

Find out: How to Take Control of Healthcare Costs and Avoid Debt

One financial disaster to another

Similar research from shows since the pandemic, twice as many Americans can’t afford $500 in medical debt. In 2021, 40 percent couldn’t pay that amount in medical bills – now it’s up to 80 percent.

To curb record-high inflation rates, the Fed has raised interest rates multiple times this past year. That only makes it harder for people to pay their medical bills and makes them nervous to can take on new ones.

“We tend to think of inflation as annoying instead of dangerous,” President Don Silvestri says. “But inflation means more than higher food and gas prices. It pervades everything we spend money on – including our physical health.” previously reported medical debt makes people three times more likely to experience symptoms like depression and anxiety. All that stress leads to more physical issues too like high blood pressure. It can create a cycle: health problems, bills, stress, then more health problems.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

More healthcare debt tips

Medical debt is a huge burden for many Americans. If your medical debt is overwhelming, you may want to consider negotiating your medical bills. You can also use health and wellness programs to stay in shape and help prevent the need for healthcare later, such as using employer-sponsored wellness programs or eating healthier.

A financial advisor can help you with your medical debt. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. (Sponsored)

States with the worst healthcare in America


Where you live may determine what kind of health care you can get — and how much you have to spend to get it. The cost of health insurance varies widely across states. People have more trouble getting health insurance coverage and finding affordable health care options in some places than in others.

To quantify these differences across the U.S. and identify the best and worst states for health care, MoneyGeek analyzed and compiled a wide range of data. We looked at factors like costs — including how expensive health insurance is — and rates of insured and uninsured individuals. MoneyGeek also considered the health of each state’s population based on measures like rates of obesity and smoking, as well as mortality rates from conditions like diabetes. Finally, we analyzed the number of primary care providers and hospital beds and how much difficulty people had getting the care they needed.

The worst states score poorly on some or all of these factors and tend to have some or all of the following distinctions: the least healthy residents, the most expensive private health insurance, the highest proportion of uninsured residents and the most significant shortages of health care providers. The worst states also tend to spend the most on health care overall.



Deposit Photos


Final Score: 54.6

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 35

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 21

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 44


Related Slideshow: The 15 healthiest US cities for families




Final Score: 54.0

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 35

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 21

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 44


Final Score: 53.0

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 43

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 28

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 17


Sean Pavone/istockphoto


Final Score: 52.9

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 29

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 41

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 32


SeanPavonePhoto/ iStock


Final Score: 52.7

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 36

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 24

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 43




Final Score: 52.7

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 31

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 45

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 22




Final Score: 49.9

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 37

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best):  32

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 38




Final Score:  48.9

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best):  46

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best):  10

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 24


Final Score:  47.2

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best):  44

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best):  48

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 1


Related Slideshow: The US city that Boomer homebuyers are flocking to


Final Score:   45.6

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 40

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 44

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 13


Final Score:  44.7

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 48

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 13

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 26


Final Score: 38.3

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 47

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 19

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 41


RichardBarrow / istockphoto


Final Score:   33.7

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 32

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 50

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 45




Final Score:   33.4

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 49

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 33

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 14




Final Score:  1.0

Outcome Factor Rank (1st = Best): 50

Access Factor Rank (1st = Best): 6

Total Cost Factor Rank (1st = Lowest): 49


This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by


ablokhin / istockphoto


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