A survey finds that seven percent of Americans or someone in their family, married so they could receive healthcare benefits in 2007.
The Kaiser Family Foundation commissioned the survey of 2,003 adults. It has an error rate of three percentage points plus or minus.
Healthcare costs outpace the cost of housing, food and credit cards. It’s estimated the employer-based health insurance costs the average family about $1,000 per month and about $4,500 per individual.
The survey finds that 28% of respondents reported they had serious financial problems because of the cost of healthcare.
Four in 10 report that they’ve had financial troubles over the last five years resulting from medical bills including having difficulties paying other bills; being contacted by a collections agency; using up their savings and being unable to pay for food, heat or housing.
Three percent have had to declare bankruptcy.
Only the cost of gasoline worried more. 44 percent said they were suffering financially because of increases at the pump.
For those whom healthcare cost was a factor, six in 10 household made less than $50,000 per year. 4 in 10 were between the ages of 18 and 34.
In the poll, about a quarter say that health insurance dictated whether they keep or change jobs.
What surprised researcher was that such costs had become a factor in marriage decisions. "We should have asked about divorce," said said Drew E. Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which commissioned the survey as part of its regular polling on healthcare.
In a companion poll of independent voters, the shift has been away from more healthcare coverage to containing costs.
Last February pf those polled, 37 percent said costs should be addressed first. In the latest poll that increased to 46 percent. Expanding coverage went down from 32 percent to 25 percent.
John McCain has emphasized reducing costs above expanding coverage to more Americans. Clinton and Obama both stress expanding coverage while reducing costs. #