One in nine patients was faced with a hefty healthcare bill last year
One in nine patients had to make an unexpected and ‘substantial’ contribution to their healthcare costs last year, patients' organisations and local health boards said on Thursday.
The research is based on information from 11,000 people.
A third of those who found themselves with unexpected payments had to meet an entire bill while one in five had to pay half the cost.
If they did not want to comply, they were required to accept treatment by other providers, the researchers said.
Patient groups say insurance companies have to be much clearer about what is and is not covered in their policies.
More than 60 percent of people in the survey said that by the end of last year they had no information about which service providers their insurance company had contracts with.
‘Cheap policies with a high own-risk fee can seem attractive but they can also be a millstone if you suddenly need expensive care,’ the patient organisations warn.