Survey Many Are Worried Sick About Finances

By Staff Report

Dec. 31, 2008

American adults say they are worried sick about the economic downturn.

According to a new survey by the AARP, one in five adults said they suffer from health problems because of financial worries, and 22 percent said they have delayed seeing a doctor because of cost concerns.

“Right now people are increasingly concerned about their jobs, retirement savings and simply being able to provide for their families, and it’s taking a major toll on their health,” Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois senior state director, said in a written statement. “It’s a harsh irony that worrying about being able to afford health care is actually causing health problems,” he said.

The telephone survey, which focused on adults 45 and older, also found that 16 percent of respondents had to use retirement savings or other savings to pay for medical care and that 21 percent have cut back on other expenses to afford their medical care.

Over the past five years health insurance premiums have increased by 65 percent, the AARP says, and health care costs are beginning to outpace wages. “Clearly rising health care costs during difficult financial times is a major cause for concern for many people,” Gallo said.

The survey of 820 adults was performed October 23-29.

Filed by Matthew DoBias of Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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