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Middle-aged Americans worried about health care costs are less likely to seek care

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Many Americans in their 50s and early 60s are concerned about meeting health care costs, according to a new study from the University of Michigan.

A quarter of adults aged between 50 and 64 are worried about their ability to afford health insurance in the next year, and just under half have low confidence in their ability to afford it once they retire.

People concerned about costs are three times more likely to avoid seeking medical care or refilling a prescription. According to Renuka Tipirneni, the study’s lead author, this can lead to more serious health problems as these adults enter retirement.

“As a physician, I know that seeking regular medical care is critically important for adults in their 50s and 60s to prevent and treat health conditions,” Tipirneni told Marketplace’s Sabri Ben-Achour.

Tipirneni said the concerns can cause people to delay retirement or stay in jobs they wouldn’t otherwise.

Click the audio player above to hear the conversation.

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