Health care costs are rising across the nation, but it’s taking a toll on Americans who are sicker than ever.
A new study finds that as the cost of health care increases, Americans are spending less on it.
A survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute found that as of last year, the median household income for Americans ages 25 to 64 had more than doubled since 2000, and the median age of the population has gone up by about 7 years.
The health care costs also are taking a greater toll on those with older parents.
Health care is the most important expense in most families, but with more than $3 trillion in spending in the U-S, the health care cost burden is now becoming a major part of the household budget, the report found.
In the Kaiser survey, which was released Wednesday, people aged 65 and older spent nearly $6,000 more per year on health care than people younger than 65, a trend that accelerated for the first time in the survey’s nearly 20 years.
About 9.5 million people in the middle income brackets are older than 65 and spend at least $1,000 a year on care, and about 2.4 million people earn between $35,000 and $65,000, the researchers found.
Among older adults, people ages 65 and over have the highest cost of care in the country, with a median of $10,849.
Among people who earn less than $25,000 per year, health care is often out of reach, and some of those with disabilities are more likely to struggle financially.
The costs are most apparent for the young and healthy, the survey found.
About 3.7 million adults aged 25 to 54 are uninsured, and almost 1 in 5 people ages 25-54 have not had a health insurance plan in the past year, according to the Kaiser poll.
While people aged 55 and older are also at risk, the number of them without health insurance is down by 1 in 10 people.
Among younger adults, the percentage of people without insurance is up by 0.4 percentage points, and those aged 18 to 34 are also on track to be at least a bit healthier, the study found.
The study also found that the number and quality of health insurance plans have grown over the past several years.
There were more than 17 million people covered in 2014 and about 5.5 billion in 2019, according the Kaiser report.
Nearly two-thirds of those people with employer-sponsored coverage are insured, and nearly half of people with Medicare and Medicaid are covered.