Report: Americans Making Financial and Lifestyle Sacrifices to Pay for Health Care

One in five Americans with health insurance is having problems paying medical bills and many are making financial and lifestyle sacrifices to foot the cost, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

More than one in three Americans, or 35 percent, said they were unable to pay for basic necessities such as food, heat, and housing because of medical bill problems.

“People with insurance who face problem medical bills also report a wide range of consequences and sacrifices during the past year as a result,” the report states.

Sixty-three percent said they had to use up most or all of their savings and 42 percent took on additional work and worked longer hours. Seventy-seven percent said they planned to delay an action or purchasing major household items and 75 percent said they would spend less on food, clothing, and basic household items. Another 38 percent said they would pay the health care costs by increasing their credit card debt and 37 percent said they would resort to borrowing money from family and friends.