According to the recent Health Voices 2013 edition by the Consumers Health of Australia, there is growing evidence of Australians struggling with medical expenses, particularly Australians living with a chronic illness.
Mcrae 2012 research studies found that individuals with a chronic illness are more at risk to higher health expenditure (out of pocket costs) related to their illness. These medical bills generally equal to more than 20 per cent of the household income.
There are many reasons why Australians with a chronic illness have higher medical expenses. Firstly, majority of chronic illnesses require immediate attention and therefore come with upfront costs that are not covered by a health fund or Medicare. Not receiving care that is necessary can deteriorate a person’s health and well-being. In addition to this, chronic illnesses can also indefinitely prolong the individual from seeking employment. It can also be a long term illness, whereby individuals can have difficulties accessing employment to cover the costs.
Individuals with a chronic illness living in rural, remote or disadvantaged areas can also have further challenges accessing health care in their area. Australians suffering from common chronic illnesses such as cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease and recipients of end of life care, will also feel a huge burden of medical expenses.