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Getting Behind the Numbers on Access to Care

Insurance Status:Insured PeopleProblem Group:Getting Needed Medical CareSelf-rating of Severity of Consequences:Very or Somewhat Serious
SexAgeResponseMale22Fungus on my foot, coverage at my work did not cover it because it was not preventative care. Pretty uncomfortable, could tell it was not a normal infection. Went to store bought stuff, medication, over the counter.Female32It affects me physically and mentally. I am tired all the time.Male38Conscious of a lot of pain and discomfort for about 3 weeks. But doctor made me return to work. Felt like he worked for company, Not employees.Female49If I would have had the right medication, would have made the headache disappear. By not having the right medication it interrupted my life, and my family’s life. Everyone is needed at home. I am planning on going back to the headache clinic, can be from stress, food, hormones. Classical migraine. That’s it. I wish these doctors would lower their prices. They are completely ridiculous. My mother-in-law, her doctor bills are the same as mine, but her insurance covered [it].Female78My feelings are that I’m miserable. If I can borrow money to eat [I] do. The only thing I enjoy is my bingo. [I have] very bad swollen knees, arthritis. I don’t think I need help, I don’t ask anybody, I love my pets. I don’t need any help. Very annoyed with everything. Lived here 53 years.Female48I had a large sore that came up on my stomach. I went to the emergency room. I received treatment, gave me a cream and an antibiotic, told me to return. The only consequence I suffered was that it took a long time to heal on its own. Was a nuisance, had to keep it bandaged because it bled on clothing.Male23I had earache from a cold. Lot of pressure inside and kind [of] light headed. I didn’t have time to go and time is money. I go to school full time. I tend not to see the doctors very much. I didn’t tell them. That’s all.Male50The dental work that I need cost about 4000 dollars. I got teeth cleaned and few minor repairs but couldn’t afford any more. I didn’t get any thing done for my children. I can’t get dental care for my children. That bothers me. I’m chewing with my front teeth but it will cause more problems later. I’ve been postponing for three years. It’s getting worse.Female25I suffered sharp chest pains under my left breast. I had sharp chest pains and a backache. I have a [personal identifier omitted] HMO public aid plan and I have to wait at least 6 weeks to see a specialist.

Insurance Status:Insured PeopleProblem Group:Paying Medical BillsSelf-rating of Severity of Consequences:Very or Somewhat Serious
SexAgeResponseFemale67Have to pay out of social security check of 362 a month for medical. Want 500 per month. Something wrong. Medicare doesn’t pay full cost of hospital or meds. Don’t take prescription then–costs 100. Other people get food stamps, what ever they want. I was born here, worked here, get nothing.Male36It make it harder to make ends meet when you have to pay 300 dollars when you got kids and you have to take them to the doctor and you have to pay 300 dollars per child.Male61Affected us, we have nothing now, because of insurance, the 20 percent is paid by the hospital. No way in hell I’m going to be able to retire.Male64My insurance told one of the doctors at the hospital that they would not be paying and the doctor turned the bill over to a collection agency. Some of the doctors kept sending me dunning letters and one turned the bill over to a collection agency. It worked a hardship on me financially but I paid the bill myself. I was angry because I felt I was overcharged and too many doctors looked at me. I put off other things in order to pay the doctors. It did not create a problem.Female31I worry , it’s a burden one shouldn’t have to have. Now I’m married. [Then I had] no job, no insurance. That’s it. It was a terrible problem.Female34I can’t get any insurance because I have Lupus; this includes health and life insurance. I have a transplant and the medicine alone costs around $300 per month. [Mental health affected?] The stress of it did; I had migraine headaches from it. My husband has to work overtime to pay the bills. I’m not employed now, I’m disabled.Male46I filed for bankruptcy.Male48Probably caused a lot more gray hairs, I worry a lot I’ve stayed employed. I can’t pay everything, when they contact me I send them a little money. With my son going to college its been hard, everything comes at once and you can’t do anything about it. I don’t know what it would be, keep going and do the best you can.Male69It come at a bad time. I had had open heart surgery and the bills then and [had a] bad time.Male56I had to enter into some type of long agreement with the hospital to get the bills paid. My wife had cancer and we had lots of different types of treatment. It is stressful to deal with an insurance company that decides what is experimental and what is not, my wife died a year ago and I just got another bill from home care.

Insurance Status:Insured PeopleProblem Group:Both Problem Getting Needed Medical Care and Paying BillsSelf-rating of Severity of Consequence:Very/Somewhat Serious
SexAgeResponseFemale49Vicious circle, back problem, medicare [doesn’t] pay for chiropractic care. Can’t afford to go to chiropractic care, pain drives my blood pressure up, which in turn causes me to have an angina. Lack of oxygen to the muscle, of the heart, and puts me back in the hospital. Husband has to come in from working [personal identifier omitted], every time I get sick or is hospitalized. Could be prevented, if I had a little more insurance. Physical health, [it] is a life threatening condition, I live with.Male64Just had to let it go and learn to live with it.Female47Well I’ve been hard to live with the past couple of years irritable, snappy, sometimes I think it’s the work that’s causing the problem, I still think it’s menopause. I guess that’s about it.Female48I was given the wrong medication and it made me sicker. I had to go to a free clinic for a proper diagnosis.Male41Worrying how to Pay bills if I went to hospital because I’m on a fixed income. On days when pain is at its worst I am too irritable and snappy. I don’t have a lot of patience on certain things. I might have to put off paying to send money to the hospital or skip a month.Female56The biggest part is trying to keep a track of medical bills I have and most companies will not accept my insurance since it’s out of [personal identifier omitted]. I get frustrated trying to get the treatment I need because they haven’t fixed the problem I have. I’ve been ill all this past summer. I just get frustrated since they haven’t found the problem.Female38A migraine headache. Severe pain and nausea. Problem was never resolved and seen doctor and that doctor referred me to another doctor she did not handle that kind of problem that I was having. Because I didn’t have the money to pay for the service out of pocket cut into other planned expenses.Male45Due to the fact that the government does not allow you to deduct your insurance premium payment nor can you deduct your cost for doctors, hospital, medicines, our total out of pocket expenses exceeded $1000. Just had a bad year. [I’m] fine just wish the government would get out my life.Female45Needed surgery for carpal tunnel. Had to take [time off] work to go to hearings and doctors appointments which cost more money.Male38It is a skin condition that is diabetic related. It is a circulation, mainly in the legs. As far as the health itself, I had to deal with the rash on my legs, it oozes sometimes and it gets to the point where I wonder if they will cut off my legs. Being on SSDI, I cannot afford to pay the prices that they are asking. I am worried about them not covering the things that need to be done. The doctor told me that I need to be in a whirlpool and I cannot afford that, he would write a prescription for a whirlpool, but who will pay for it. We used to go camping as a family, and I can’t do a lot of things anymore. When people find out that I am a diabetic and have been as long as I have and I am trying to get off of SSI they don’t want to hire me.

Insurance Status:Insured PeopleProblem Group:Getting Needed Medical CareSelf-rating of Severity of Consequence:Not Very/Not at all
SexAgeResponseMale54My insurance doesn’t cover preventive care but my doctor includes checkups on my visits to him for medical follow-up.Male44[I had] diarrhea on and off it was like a virus and you couldn’t get treated for this and couldn’t get the time [off] so I treated it myself. Couldn’t get the appointment needed so I used over the counter drugs. Did not get much productivity done due to the problem.Female38It was very physically uncomfortable. Nothing else.Male38Just raspy cough and got worst. Congested. Just didn’t feel as good as I could of sooner. Wasn’t life threatening. I could have felt better if I would of went to the doctor. Not horrible for me for someone else. It was not a financial burden I had the money to do it.Female30I asked my dentist about replacing two teeth and he said it had to be six or more teeth per insurance regulations.

Insurance Status:Insured PeopleProblem Group:Paying Medical BillsSelf-rating of Severity of Consequence:Not Very/Not at all
SexAgeResponseFemale49It put us in a financial bind.Male62We have to cut corners in order to pay the bills, like grocery bills. That is the only place to cut and cut entertainment; we can only afford to go out on a week. In my relationship with my wife she might be a little crabby sometimes when we can’t go out. I’m just kidding but its a strain.Female43If you don’t make enough money, you have to pay your other bills like phone, lights, your car payment, car insurance and then sometimes work gets slack. When I go to the doctor I always try to pay. Most times the insurance pays just about everything.Female35Main thing is the tendency, especially the kids, we run 2 or three [sick] at one time. 2 or 3 get sick at one time. We have excellent hospitalization so the big costs are covered. Not a major effect I wish we were covered but it’s not so. [I] do the best I can.Female44I have a 21 year old daughter that has money problems and usually those have to be paid before I can finish off mine. I know it will be paid off very soon.

Insurance Status:Insured PeopleProblem Group:Both Problem Getting Needed Medical Care and Paying BillsSelf-rating of Severity of Consequence:Not Very/Not at all
SexAgeResponseMale36I haven’t had consequences, just aggravation. When they know you’re a doctor they give you hell.Female51My problem is that I have to make payments every month and some of them don’t want you to make payments, they want it all then and there. I’m a member of AARP but since I’m not 65 I’m not eligible for medicare supplements.Male58[I have] arthritis. I just can’t get medication I needed. I’m doing fine right now. I haven’t worked in 5 or 6 years now.Male58Had a cold. It’s my responsibility to my bills. I’d like to tell the whole United States to get off their duffs and get a job and pay their own bills.Male35I needed to see a dentist, and I just can’t right now, I don’t need another big bill hanging over my head. It was repair work. It puts a tight budget, you put one off for one month, it gets stressful.

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Getting Behind the Numbers on Access to Care:
Press Release Survey Part One Survey Part Two Chart Pack

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.