Almost 20 million American families, including about 13.5 million families with health insurance, had trouble paying their medical bills in 2003, according to a report by the Center of Studying Health System Change. While uninsured families were more likely than families with insurance to have problems paying their bills, 68% of those who had problems were insured, the center said. The 20 million families represent 43 million people. More than 30% of the families did not fill a prescription, 25.2% delayed obtaining care and 12.4% skipped needed care completely because of cost concerns, the center said. Because of medical debt, families also sometimes had problems paying for food, housing and transportation, the center said. Read the report. -- by Tony Fong
Health costs burden both uninsured, insured
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