Getting Hitched to Pay for Health Care

April 30, 2008 11:03 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A new poll shows that seven percent of Americans say they or someone in their household decided to marry to receive health insurance.

30-Second Summary

Released Tuesday, the Kaiser Family Foundation poll also revealed that the cost of health care was the chief financial concern among those polled, outweighing housing costs, credit card bills, and the price of food.

The Los Angeles Times reports that 28 percent of responders “said they had experienced serious problems because of the cost of healthcare, compared with 29% who had problems getting a good job or a raise.”

But perhaps the most unexpected response came from the seven percent of Americans who married to get health care benefits through their spouse.

“It's a small number but a powerful result, because it shows how paying for healthcare is reflected not only in family budgets but in life decisions,” said KFF President Drew E. Altman.

Health care isn’t the only expense pushing couples to make important decisions. In February 2008, The New York Times reported that the increasingly expensive New York City real estate market was motivating more and more young couples to move in together in order to save money.

Nonetheless, the Kaiser poll addresses an issue whose prominence in the media will only increase as November’s presidential election approaches. In fact, on Tuesday White House hopeful John McCain called for increased competition among insurers, “saying more choices for insurance will drive down costs and improve the system,” reports Reuters.

McCain’s strategy may be a good one. According to a companion poll also released Tuesday by the KFF, “among independents, 46 percent said that presidential candidates should address health care costs,” states the foundation’s Web site.

Headline Links: Poll finds cost of health care a chief concern

Background: ‘Co-Payments Climb for Life-Saving Drugs’

Related Topics: McCain on health care; couples shack up to save

Reference: ‘Sick Around the World’


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