Survey Reveals 44% of Consumers Avoided Healthcare Due to Cost

What You Should Know:

New price transparency government mandates are on the horizon, but how much does cost really impact consumers? HealthSparq  published its Annual Consumer Sentiment Benchmark report, which found that 44% of respondents have avoided getting healthcare services because they were unsure of the costs (compared to 25% last year).

The survey of 1,000+ healthcare consumers unveils their opinions on price transparency in healthcare and how cost influences care.

Strong Support for Price Transparency Government Mandates

The survey found an increasing number of consumers reporting access to transparency tools. In the study, transparency tools were broadly defined as online tools from insurance companies where members can search for in-network providers (“Find a Doctor”), get cost estimates for procedures, learn about treatment options, and/or get guidance on insurance-covered options. With 70% of respondents indicating the availability of these tools at their health plan, the rate is at its highest point in the survey’s four-year history.

Other key findings include:

– Two-thirds of respondents reported being unaware of new government regulations requiring that health insurance plans must offer price transparency to their members. Despite this low awareness, 81% expressed support for the rule.

– Among those with a high-deductible health plan, 51% avoided care due to unknown costs.

– Two-thirds of consumers who report having access to transparency tools have used them in the past year.

– The majority of consumers who have used transparency tools feel they help with understanding coverage (91%), making informed decisions (89%), and managing costs (81%).

– More than six in 10 wish their health plan offered more in-depth provider profile details and 71% would like to schedule appointments through their health plan website.