Healthcare costs top financial concerns for Americans

The most important financial problem American families face is healthcare costs, according to a new Gallup poll.

In fact, Americans are more likely to cite healthcare costs as a financial concern than any other issue, with 17% naming healthcare, followed by 11% citing lack of money or low wages as a top concern.

By comparison, in 2018, just 12% of Americans named healthcare as their top financial concern, while 13% said lack of money or low wages. Following healthcare costs and low wages, college expenses, housing costs and taxes were cited on the list, at 8% each.

The findings come at a time when surprise billing has come under the spotlight after patients have turned to the media after receiving sky-high medical bills for care and treatments. Typically, these surprise bills come when patients are slammed with out-of-network bills that aren’t fully covered by their insurance––at no fault of their own. The issue has loomed so large that Congress and the Trump administration, as well as individual states, have separately stated they will work to mitigate the problem.

At the same time, Americans are feeling more confident about the economy, according to recent Gallup data, which show some of the most positive measures of the personal financial situations among Americans in years. In fact, 20% of Americans said they don’t even have a most important financial problem this year––the second highest percentage since 21% said the same in 2005.

“Still, even in these generally good economic times, the vast majority of Americans do mention some financial matter that is a major concern for their family,” the poll noted.

Healthcare costs have typically been near the top of the list for Americans since Gallup started polling the question in 2005. Older Americans are also more likely to name healthcare costs as a top problem compared to other demographics, according to Gallup, with 25% of adults between 50 and 64 and 23% of those 65 and older citing the issue as the biggest problem for their finances.

However, when broken down by income levels, Americans are about equally as likely to name healthcare costs as their top financial problem, the poll revealed.