Research and Statistics poll results: Credit and health care costs


A poll found a majority of Americans realize that inability to pay their share of health care costs has the potential to wipe them out financially.

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A poll found a majority of Americans realize that inability to pay their share of health care costs has the potential to wipe them out financially.


1. Do you agree that you or your family would face a financial hardship if you experienced a serious illness?

Nearly two in three Americans (62 percent) say they could face financial hardship if faced with a serious illness.

2. If you were to face a medical bill of more than $1,000, which payment option are you most likely to consider first?

About half (49 percent) of Americans say they would pay the bill with cash. More than a third (38 percent) would consider some form of borrowing to pay medical bills, including one in 10 (9 percent) who would consider keeping the balance on a credit card.

3. Do you know the total amount of your current health insurance policy’s annual deductible for medical expenses?

Among those who have health insurance, half (50 percent) say they don’t know the amount of the deductible. Only 40 percent say they know their deductible amount and 11 percent don’t have a deductible.

Source: GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media conducted interviews with 1,004 Americans over the age of 18 on Jan. 18-20, 2008. The survey participants were selected through random-digit dialing across the continental United States. The poll’s margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level is plus or minus 3 percent for the full sample.

See related: Special report: Do credit cards offer health care Rx?, 15 tips for paying high medical bills, Health care credit cards rise to fill insurance gap, Comparing health care credit options, ‘MedFICO’ score: Good medicine or bad?No credit card, no medical service?, Blog: Americans worried about health care, Bankruptcies near record levels as economy sours, Study: 79 million struggling to pay medical bills and debt


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