Majority of Mainers Concerned with Medical Debt, Rising Healthcare Costs
Monday, June 5, 2023
Most Mainers believe they are one medical emergency or illness away from financial disaster, according to a new survey.
The non-profit Consumers for Affordable Healthcare finds rising costs, including those for prescription drugs, are weighing heavy on the majority of Mainers - causing more than one in three residents to skip or delay going to the doctor when sick.
Executive Director Ann Woloson said the majority of Mainers with commercial insurance are also concerned they'll experience a gap in their coverage.
"You know you hear this all the time," said Woloson, "people splitting pills, or not filling a prescription because they can't afford it. It just shows us that more needs to be done."
Woloson said Maine is on the right track to addressing the high cost of healthcare and the state's new executive director with the Office of Affordable Healthcare could help, and so could the Prescription Drug Affordability Board.
More than four out of ten Mainers have medical debt in their household, and nearly all of them who've accrued that debt within the past two years still have it.
Woloson said counselors with her organization's free hotline help Mainers with insurance questions and regularly hear from families struggling to pay their bills.
"I think as more Mainers experience affordability issues," said Woloson, "they realize they're not alone and that everyone in Maine should have access to quality healthcare they can afford."
That includes the growing number of immigrants in Maine, who are helping alleviate the state's worker shortage.
Lawmakers are considering a bill to expand MaineCare to all low-income residents, regardless of immigration status.
Woloson said everyone benefits when everyone can get the care they need... when they need it.
get more stories like this via email
In cities across the globe, including the Michigan city of Midland, various organizations are commemorating International Day of Peace today…
In rural Alabama, where hurricanes and tornadoes are a constant threat, communities often struggle with damage and limited resources for extended …
A group of West Virginia Democratic delegates is calling for a special session to address West Virginia University's budget shortfall. Del. Evan …
While many Wyomingites of Hispanic descent came from Mexico, there is a lesser-known population from the old Spanish settlements of northern New …
People in rural America are five times as likely to live in so-called "ambulance deserts," areas far from an ambulance service or station, than those …
This week, feminism passes a milestone of sorts as the iconic publication, Ms. Magazine, looks back on its first fifty years. A new book has just …
A set of controversial reforms to Illinois' cash bail system went into effect this week, changing a decades-old system of holding people in jail …
Arizonans could vote on a proposal next year some advocates said would make politics more equitable in the Grand Canyon State. This week, the Make …