New research from the University of Chicago found that 60 percent of Americans have been surprised to receive a medical bill that they thought would have been covered by insurance. Of these people, more than a third reported surprise charges were related to imaging services.
“Most Americans have been surprised by medical bills that they expected would be covered by their insurance,” said Caroline Pearson, a senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, in a prepared statement. “This suggests that consumers may have difficulty understanding their insurance benefits or knowing which providers are included in their plan’s network.”
For the study, researchers conducted interviews with 1,0002 adults between Aug. 16-20. The participants provided a sample coverage of 97 percent of the U.S. household population, according to the researchers.
The most common surprise charges were from physician services, follow closely by laboratory tests, health care facility charges and prescriptions, according to Pearson and colleagues.
In terms of accountability, 86 percent of respondents said insurance companies are “very” or “somewhat” responsible, while 82 percent said hospital were very or somewhat” responsible, and 71 percent said their doctors are “very” or “somewhat” responsible.