Crisis leaves 31% of adults struggling to pay for health insurance, other expenses + 6 more insights

A significant number of Americans have put off medical treatment during the pandemic, and job losses could lead more adults to rely on Medicaid when they do seek care, according to a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation May 13-18.

The KFF Health Tracking Poll included a nationally representative random sample of 1,189 U.S. adults contacted by telephone.

Seven key takeaways:

1. Forty-eight percent of American adults said they or someone in their household have delayed or done without medical care due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 11 percent reporting that not receiving medical treatment worsened the condition.

2. Sixty-eight percent of those who delayed care — or 32 percent of all U.S. adults — said they plan to receive delayed care within three months.

3. Since February, 31 percent of adults have fallen behind on paying bills or expenses such as health insurance coverage.

4. Seventy-four percent of adults are against states cutting spending on Medicaid to address COVID-19-related budget shortfalls. Decreased state spending on Medicaid is opposed by 85 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents and 62 percent of Republicans.

5. With unemployment rising and adults losing employer-sponsored health insurance, 55 percent of respondents said they consider Medicaid personally important to them and their families.

6. Nearly 1 in 4 adults said there's a good chance they or a family member will rely on Medicaid in the next year. Among adults who personally lost income or had a spouse lose income due to COVID-19, 31 percent expect to turn to Medicaid in the next year.

7. State Medicaid expansion is supported by two-thirds of adults in states that haven't expanded the program. In those states, Medicaid expansion is supported by 72 percent of adults whose household has been affected by income or job loss.

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