Health insurance is in the forefront of media coverage as well as in the minds of most Americans. Health insurance costs are on the rise and many people can either not qualify or afford coverage. Many of us, those that have coverage and those that do not, worry about the cost of medical care. As a result, many people delay seeking medical attention during a heart attack.
It is a fact that those that are either underinsured or uninsured access medical treatment for chronic conditions including diabetes at a far lower rate that those who are insured. A new study suggests that concerns about cost are affect decision concerning potentially lifesaving care.
Nearly 50 percent of heart attack patients that are uninsured, and about 45 percent of those who are underinsured did not seek treatment for more than six hours after the onset of heart attack symptoms.
Co-author of the study, Paul S. Chan, MD says that there are treatments in place that can prevent damage, but after the first six hours the benefits are limited. He says that there is likely to be no benefit at all of these treatments if the treatment is delayed more than 12 hours.
President Obama’s healthcare reform is projected to provide coverage to about 32 million Americans who are not currently insured. However, Chan says that there might not be any changes in people seek coverage due to the out-of-pocket costs that have continued and most likely will continue to rise.
In another study published in 2009 by the Harvard Medical School indicated that 45,000 yearly deaths were a result of inadequate insure. Basically the study showed that approximately every 12 minutes some dies due to no or inadequate insurance.
Study researchers say the findings are not surprise but are nonetheless disturbing.