A new poll confirms many New Jerseyans are worried about the rapidly rising cost of medical care.

Danny Franklin, a partner at the communications agency Bully Pulpit Interactive, says the Consumers for Quality Care survey finds “there’s a striking degree of concern and also real anxiety about the cost of healthcare, where it’s going and the pressure it’s putting on finances day to day.”

He said the poll finds “71% of the state believes that the cost of healthcare is rising faster than their income, about a quarter of New Jerseyans say that they are currently living with an unpaid medical bill.”

He pointed out most while people were concerned about the monthly cost of premiums “what really was worrying them was the possibility that they may get a surprise bill from a medical provider, a hospital or doctor that they weren’t anticipating.”

The poll finds 71% of respondents were nervous they would get sick or injured and not be able to deal with the deductibles for the associated costs of their care.

Additionally the survey finds 2 out of 3 New Jerseyans are concerned they will need to delay seeking care due to high health care costs, and 60% worried they will be unable to afford their month health care premiums at some point in the future.

Franklin said coming out of the experience with the pandemic “there’s a high degree of concern, and support for protections that would prevent insurance companies charging higher fees to people just because they were infected with COVID at some point.”

He noted 75% of Jersey residents support expanding the kinds of medical services that can be provided by nurses or physician assistants, to cut down on costs.

He also pointed out while the survey finds there is a high degree of confidence in the quality of care offered in New Jersey, 78% of residents say the amount they pay for health care is rising every year, and 52% indicate at some point in their life they’ve struggled to pay a medical bill even if they had insurance.

The Consumers for Quality Care poll was conducted via online survey from July 19 to 25, 2021 with 601 total respondents of registered voters across New Jersey. The poll was conducted by ALG Research and Bully Pulpit Interactive

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.

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