The problem of adult low literacy is far-reaching. The impact on health care is overwhelming.
- Adults with low-level reading skills may not be able to read medical directions, health-related literature or prescription labels.
- Understanding a doctor’s orders, calculating how much medicine to take, reading disease-prevention pamphlets — all are ways adults can keep themselves and their families healthy. But millions of adults lack these essential health literacy skills, which adds an estimated $230 billion a year to the cost of health care in the U.S.
- Chronic health conditions may worsen when not properly monitored causing frequent doctor or emergency room visits, hospitalization or even death.
- Michigan would save more than $750.2 million in health care costs over the lifetimes of each class of dropouts had they graduated.