48 Percent of Americans Have Neglected Doing This During the Pandemic

Nearly half of Americans have delayed doing this pivotal thing amid coronavirus.

The coronavirus pandemic put many of our normal activities on hold—eating out at a restaurant, going shopping, and getting a haircut were suddenly impossible. Now that states are reopening across the country, people are once again returning to their pre-pandemic lives, albeit with restrictions like face masks and social distancing. And in addition to dining out and getting a much needed trim, that might mean seeing a doctor for the first time in months. According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), nearly half of Americans have delayed medical care due to coronavirus.

Specifically, 48 percent of Americans said that they or someone in their family had skipped or delayed getting medical care because of the pandemic. Of that 48 percent, 11 percent said that the person's medical condition had gotten worse without proper care.

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The good news is that with doctor's offices opening—and with more information available about how to go to the doctor safely—many people in the U.S. will be getting their delayed medical care soon. Of the nearly half of Americans who said they had put off seeing a doctor, 68 percent said they planned on getting care over the next three months. And on the whole, poll respondents said their health had not suffered during the pandemic, with 86 percent reporting that their physical health had stayed the same.

young female doctor with face mask checking the heartbeat of older woman with face mask in wheelchair

That doesn't mean the outlook is entirely rosy, however. While physical health has been mostly consistent, even without being able to see a doctor, mental health is a different story. Of the adult poll respondents, 39 percent said that anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic had worsened their mental health, with 12 percent saying the crisis had a "major" negative impact.

And there's still the issue of paying for medical care. A recent study found that among individuals at high risk for coronavirus, over 18 million are uninsured or underinsured. With unemployment reaching new heights amid the pandemic, many more people have lost their health insurance or are otherwise struggling to pay for care. The KFF poll showed that in households that have suffered job loss, 23 percent of people had trouble paying medical bills. Additionally, 15 percent had trouble paying for health insurance coverage, and 13 percent had trouble paying for prescriptions.

If you've been avoiding a trip to the doctor out of concerns over contracting coronavirus, make sure you're aware of the steps you can take to keep yourself healthy—and then schedule a visit. There are risks to any in-person appointment, but the long-term consequences of skipping medical care are also cause for concern. And before you go in, discover The Worst Thing You Can Do If You've Got a Doctor's Appointment.

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