To save money, many Americans are cutting back on medical care, according to a new study commissioned by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

A national survey of 686 consumers, conducted in July, found that more than one-fifth (22%) of adults say they have reduced the number of times they see the doctor as a result of todays economy. This is particularly true of women (30%), respondents aged 18 to 34 (38%), respondents with household incomes under $25,000 (35%), and respondents in the South (33%).

Also, 11% of consumers say theyve cut back the number of prescription drugs they take or the dosage of those medications to make their prescriptions last longer. This is most often the case with respondents with household incomes under $25,000 (20%).

Delaying medical treatment and regular physicals puts consumers at risk for potential health issuesand increases overall health insurance costs, says Sandy Praeger, NAIC President and Kansas Insurance Commissioner. Its critical that consumers continue to take responsibility for their health, so that we can all benefit from healthier lives and more affordable health care.

Vol. No: 145:09Issue: 9/15/2008