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
Most teenagers eagerly anticipate turning 16 to start driving and 21 for other milestones, but the significance of obtaining the right to vote at 18 …
New York state lawmakers have appointed members to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies, created through legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul …
A new report argued many charitable foundations need to examine the origin of their wealth and repair harms done. The National Committee for …
A proposed urban reforestation program in Massachusetts aims to help cities mitigate the effects of climate change. Legislation would create a state …
A Wyoming nonprofit is helping single mothers climb out of poverty by connecting them with the training and support they need to step into and succeed…
Ahead of Super Tuesday, a new poll finds a majority of Mainers support replacing the Electoral College system with a national popular vote. More …
Even though March is barely underway, parents of Wisconsin kids are being encouraged to plan for summer reading activities - especially if their …
A law aimed at immigrants crossing the border in Texas will not take effect tomorrow, after a federal judge halted enforcement until a court battle …