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Americans Less Confident They Can Pay for Their Health Care

May 14, 2018

New findings from the Commonwealth Fund's Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tracking Survey show that Americans’ confidence in their ability to afford their health care continues to decline.

During 2018, 62 percent of working-age adults said they were very or somewhat confident they could afford their health care if they became seriously ill. That’s down from a high of nearly 70 percent during 2015. 

The ACA tracking survey is a nationally representative telephone survey that tracks coverage rates among 19-to-64-year-olds. The latest round of calls was conducted between February and March 2018. 

Recently published findings include:

  • People covered through their jobs are the most confident about their health insurance and their ability to pay for health care. More than half (55%) of these adults were very confident compared to 31 percent with individual market coverage and 41 percent of people with Medicaid.
  • A quarter of adults surveyed said health care had become harder to afford. People with individual market coverage and people with deductibles of $1,000 were more likely to express this assessment.
  • Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) said they would not have the money to cover a $1,000 medical bill within 30 days in the case of an unexpected medical event.
  • Health care is a top financial concern. Fourteen percent of adults said that health care was their biggest personal financial concern, after mortgage or rent (23%), student loans (17%), and retirement (17%).

The ACA has helped more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians access affordable, reliable, comprehensive health care coverage through the insurance marketplace, Medicaid expansion, and dependent coverage. 

Throughout the debate about the future of the ACA, HAP has held as its guiding principles the need to preserve Pennsylvanians’ access to this coverage. HAP has worked with Pennsylvania’s hospitals and the provider community to communicate the importance of continued Congressional support for measures to promote access to health care and stabilize the insurance marketplace.

For more information about HAP’s federal legislative advocacy, please contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP's vice president, federal legislative advocacy.

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