40 Percent Of Rural Americans Financially Struggle With Routine Medical Bills, Housing And Food
Access to health care is also an issue a new poll finds. One-quarter of respondents said they have not been able to get medical services when they needed it at some point in recent years. "At a time when we thought we had made major progress in reducing barriers to needed health care, the fact that 1 in 4 still face these barriers is an issue of national concern," Robert J. Blendon, co-director of the survey and professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, tells NPR.
Day-To-Day Financial Insecurity A Burden For People In Rural Communities
Polling by NPR finds that while rural Americans are mostly satisfied with life, there is a strong undercurrent of financial insecurity that can create very serious problems for many people living in rural communities. The findings come from two surveys NPR has done with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on day-to-day life and health in rural America. (Neel and Neighmond, 5/21)
In other news on health care costs —
Private Plans Pay California Hospitals More Than Double The Medicare Rate
Private insurers paid California hospitals more than two times as much as Medicare for similar services in 2015 and 2016, according to a study published Monday by West Health Policy Center. The study found that private insurers paid hospitals an average 209% of Medicare, though there was wide variation across hospitals. Private insurers paid the costliest hospitals 364% of Medicare on average, while they paid the least expensive hospitals an average 89% of Medicare. The most expensive hospitals tended to be private not-for-profit hospitals, while the least costly were public hospitals. (Livingston, 5/20)