The US is Number One: in Out-of-Pocket Costs!

I have been writing a fair amount lately about the out-of-pocket costs that many Americans face when they receive healthcare services. A new report by The Commonwealth Fund provides a picture of the scope of this issue. It compares the US to 10 other developed countries, and shows not only that people in the US spend more out-of-pocket than folks in those other countries, but also have a much harder time paying for the services they need:

oop costs by country

Other notable facts in the report:

        — About a third (32%) U.S. adults spent a lot of time dealing with insurance paperwork and disputes or were either denied payment for a claim or paid less than expected.
        –Nearly one-quarter (23%) of U.S. adults either had serious problems paying medical bills or were unable to pay them

If or when Obamacare is fully implemented, we will find out whether any of these numbers improve substantially.

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