Inflation affects health care and nutrition decisions in the United States

Inflation affects health care and nutrition decisions in the United States

COLUMBUS, Ohio – To combat high inflation, Americans are making difficult trade-offs that are negatively affecting their health and well-being, according to a new survey by the Nationwide Retirement Institute®. Over the past 12 months, nearly two in five US households (17%) received food or goods from a food bank (22% for millennials), and the same amount (17%) stopped buying healthy (organic or expensive) foods price (food).

Nearly one in five Americans (18%) say they skip meals or don’t buy groceries due to high inflation (including 28% of Generation Z and 23% of Millennials). As food insecurity worsens, Americans are also struggling to pay critical healthcare expenses. Many have canceled or postponed plans in the past 12 months to see a specialist (14%), take a prescribed medication (10%) or get a yearly cash (11%) due to high inflation. Nearly a fifth of Generation Z (17%) and Millennials (19%) have canceled or postponed plans in the past 12 months to see a mental health professional.

“With health care and basic necessities continuing to rise to record levels, Americans have been forced to make difficult decisions that sacrifice their health and well-being,” he said. Kristi Rodriguez, First Vice President of the National Retirement Institute. While these decisions are understandable and difficult, making short-term trade-offs can have long-term implications. Neglecting your health now can lead to much greater costs as you age and approach retirement. This is a critical time to consult with a financial professional to create a plan that prioritizes your healthcare needs now and in retirement.”

As Americans prepare for greater expenses in the future, the survey found that one in ten (10%) cut their retirement plan contributions in the past year to pay for health care expenses due to high inflation. 14% of adults are considering reducing their contributions this year, and that number is higher for Generation Z and Millennials at 21% and 20%, respectively.

To find additional savings, 14% of Americans say they are considering reducing their health insurance plan due to high inflation, which rises to 23% and 20% for Generation Z and Millennials, respectively.

One potential area of ​​comfort for those 65 and older is to review their Medicare plans during open enrollment, which runs through December 7. According to the National Council on Aging, only about 10% of people switch Medicare plans each year during open enrollment, which can mean they overspend for coverage they don’t need or use.

“It is important that people use online tools and resources as well as benefit from a financial professional,” Rodriguez said. “For example, older adults can save money right now by reevaluating their Medicare plan during open enrollment.”

Financial professionals can help Americans stay on track toward their short and long-term financial goals

Although Americans make daily decisions and trade-offs to manage high inflation, many haven’t made a plan to pay for health care expenses in the near term and stay on track to meet their long-term retirement goals. For example:

  • Less than a fifth of Americans (17%) have adjusted their household budget to pay for healthcare in the past 12 months
  • The majority (72%) reported that one of their biggest concerns in retirement was health care costs spiraling out of control, but only 39% had a plan to pay for health care in retirement.
  • 15% have delayed a major purchase or investment to pay for healthcare within the past 12 months

“The role that financial professionals play in creating a safer financial future for their clients is even more important during high inflation,” Rodriguez said. “By integrating health care into the financial planning conversations, financial professionals can help clients better prepare for rising health care costs.”

To help financial professionals guide these conversations, National Health Care Cost Assessment Tool Proprietary health risk analysis and updated actuarial cost data are used to help financial professionals and clients estimate future medical and long-term care expenses.

To help guide customers through their Medicare options, nationwide® collaborated with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to create The NCOA My Medicare Matters® tool brought to you by Nationwide. Consumers can learn more and complete the evaluation in

Benefits Check® It is an NCOA tool that helps people with Medicare determine if they qualify for Medicare and Medicare Extra Help—two programs that help cover health care costs for people on low and middle incomes.

To learn more about the 2022 National Retirement Institute healthcare costs in the Retirement Consumer Survey, visit In addition, financial professionals can be visited careinsights To learn more.

Survey Methodology
The research was conducted online in the United States by the Harris Poll on behalf of Nationwide among 1,140 adults over 18 years of age residing in the United States (“national sample”), including 283 of Generation Z (18-25), and 285 Millennials (26-41), 286 Generation X (42-57), 286 Boomers + (58+). The survey was conducted on August 26 – September 8, 2022. Data is weighted as necessary for 26+ age groups by age, race/ethnicity, region, education, marital status, family size, household income, and tendency to go online. them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Generation Z (18-25) data are age-weighted by gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, family size, and tendency to go online.

About the Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is a global market research and consulting firm that strives to reveal the true values ​​of modern society to inspire leaders to create a better tomorrow. She works with clients in three core areas: building a company’s reputation in the 21st century, formulating brand strategy and tracking performance, and gaining organic media through public relations research. One of the longest-running surveys ever conducted in the United States, the Harris Poll has tracked public opinion, motivation and social sentiment since 1963, and is now part of Stagwell, the rival holding company created to transform marketing.

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