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Americans delay non-emergency medical care in greater numbers than last year | Company

RIVERWOODS, Illinois–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 7, 2022–

A national survey conducted by Discover personal loans found that financial stress impacts how Americans seek and pay for medical care.

As Americans find themselves going through turbulent economic times, many people with medical debt are delaying non-emergency medical care in greater numbers than they did a year ago. Specifically, Americans with medical debt delay seeing a specialist (52%), being seen for an illness (41%) and treatment plans recommended by their doctor (31%). Nearly half of Americans with medical debt (47%) say it will take them more than a year to pay off their current medical debt.

Paying down medical debt has forced many Americans to forgo other day-to-day expenses at higher rates than last year, including saving for retirement or falling behind on credit card payments:

Financial commitments delayed due to medical debt

2022

2021

Stop spending on meals and entertainment

48%

35%

Skip the holidays

42%

37%

Pay the minimum payment, and no more, for my credit cards

42%

23%

Skip adding to my emergency savings

36%

28%

Avoid saving for retirement

32%

32%

Stop paying other bills

27%

37%

Stop saving for my child’s college

14%

20%

“Consumers are feeling more pressure to juggle their bills to make ends meet,” said Matt Lattman, vice president of personal loans at Discover. “Skipping things like paying bills, getting seen for illness, or building up an emergency savings fund can have long-lasting effects. There are ways to fund some of these things that will reduce the longer term impacts.

The finances surrounding medical debt are stressful in many ways. For example, 62% of people with medical debt said knowing how to pay for medical care caused them anxiety, while 32% said knowing what costs insurance would cover caused them anxiety.

Moreover, Americans have saved less this year. When asked how much money they have saved, not including retirement accounts, the number of respondents with less than $1,000 in savings rose from 31% to 39% in 2022. Smaller savings increased an impact on Americans’ ability to pay for unforeseen medical expenses, which can lead to financial hardship. This year, 55% of Americans said they were ill-prepared to cover the cost of an unexpected medical bill, up 12 percentage points from 2021. As a result, Americans need alternatives to cover medical expenses.

“Personal loans are one of many tools available to consumers to help them through this economic environment,” Lattman added. “A loan can help you pay off medical debt or cover unexpected medical expenses when the cost of living is higher due to inflation.”

About the survey

A nationwide survey of 1,521 U.S. residents ages 18 and older was commissioned by Discover and conducted by Dynata (formerly Research Now/SSI), an independent research company, between May 18 and May 30, 2022. The Margin maximum sampling error was +/-3 percentage points with a confidence level of 95%.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a digital banking and payments company with one of the most recognized brands in financial services in the United States. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover® card, America’s cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its banking business. . It operates the Discover Global Network ® consisting of Discover Network, with millions of merchants and cash access points; PULSE ®, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International ®, a global payment network accepted worldwide. For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.

Show source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220707005148/en/

CONTACT: Robert Weiss

[email protected]

224-405-6304

@Discover—News

KEYWORD: ILLINOIS UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA

SECTOR KEYWORD: PERSONAL FINANCE GENERAL HEALTH FINANCE HEALTH BANKING HOSPITALS PROFESSIONAL SERVICES HEALTH INSURANCE

SOURCE: Discover Financial Services

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

PUBLISHED: 07/07/2022 06:00 AM/DISC: 07/07/2022 06:02 AM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220707005148/en

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

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