By DrBicuspid Staff

June 1, 2015 -- A quarter of those who responded to a recent U.S. Federal Reserve survey said they delayed getting needed dental care in 2014 because they could not afford it.

The finding was included in the 108-page "Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2014," released on May 27 by the Federal Reserve System's Board of Governors.

According to the report, more than 30% of respondents went without some form of medical care in 2014 because of finances:

  • 25% didn't get dental care.
  • 15% went without a doctor visit.
  • 13% went without prescription medicine.
  • 11% went without visiting a specialist.
Survey response to the question "During the past 12 months, was there a time when you needed any of the following, but didn't get it because you couldn't afford it?" Federal Reserve chart
Chart courtesy of the Federal Reserve System's Board of Governors, "Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2014."

The findings may partially reflect the fact that some health insurance plans do not cover all health expenses, such as dental care, according to the report authors. But they noted that insurance co-payments may "represent a barrier to medical treatment for many low-income individuals," including some who are insured.

Almost 6,000 respondents completed the survey (65.7% completion rate), which was conducted in October and November 2014.


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