HealthDay News — Financial burden of care is similar or lower for veterans with Veterans Affairs (VA) health care only or Tricare than those with private insurance, according to a study published online March 22 in the National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Robin A. Cohen, Ph.D., and Peter Boersma, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, combined data from the 2019 to 2021 National Health Interview Survey to examine three measures of financial burden for medical care (living in a family having problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months; having to forgo medical care due to cost in the past 12 months; and being worried about the cost of unforeseen medical care) among veterans aged 25 to 64 years.
The researchers found that overall, 12.8, 8.4, and 38.4 percent, respectively, of the veterans had problems paying medical bills, had forgone medical care, and were somewhat or very worried about being able to pay their medical bills in the case of an accident or illness. Veterans with VA health care only or Tricare were less likely to live in a family having problems paying medical bills than those with private insurance with or without VA health care, after adjustment. Furthermore, veterans with VA health care only or Tricare were less likely to have forgone medical care or worry about being able to pay their medical bills compared with those with private insurance without VA health care.
“Most measures of financial burden improved for veterans who relied only on VA for their health care,” the authors write.