TYLER, Texas — The U.S. has seen the highest inflation rate in more than 40 years, from groceries, to gas, to even health care.
According to a poll by Gallup, this caused 38% of Americans to postpone their medical needs last year. Deductibles for medical insurance have reached an extreme high.
"If you have to reach a deductible of that amount before the insurance puts in the first dollar, then we're essentially cash patients. And you couple that with an industry that doesn't really want to disclose their prices, transparently, it causes patients to be hesitant to go into a situation where it could be devastating to them financially," said David Balat with the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Because of this, a new rule took effect two years ago, allowing patients to see the prices up front, but some hospitals still aren’t complying. Balat said if people don’t know how much something is going to cost, then more people will risk not going to the doctor, creating greater health risks.
"You have doctors that are leaving traditional practice of medicine to go into direct primary care, that's more of a subscription based and it's a set fee per month, and it's unlimited access to a physician," Balat said.
However, Balat said the biggest advocate for the patient, is the patient themselves. For more affordable medical care, Balat advises finding an independent provider.