News Brief

Survey: Most Feel Helpless Over Healthcare Costs

When it comes to lowering their own healthcare costs, most consumers consider themselves helpless, according to a study of more than 1,500 consumers from Boston-based Chadwick Martin Bailey and South Street Strategy Group.

While most consumers do not fully understand Healthcare Reform, they do anticipate it will have an impact on their lives. With much of the coverage of Health Reform focused on increased costs to businesses and subsequently to their employees, the majority (67%) of consumers believe that they have little to no impact on reducing their own healthcare costs.

While consumers feel that they do not have a major impact, 75% of consumers see health insurance companies as responsible for lowering health costs, significantly more than those pointing the finger at government agencies (46%).

The study found while 30% consider themselves knowledgeable about Health Reform, half only consider themselves somewhat knowledgeable and 19% fully admit they don't know much at all when it comes to Healthcare Reform.

Much of this confusion or partial understanding may be due to the perception that the media does not present the issues in an unbiased way (only 18% said that it is presented without bias).

Even with the confusion surrounding Health Reform, most people believe that reform will have an impact on their lives with 35% expecting a major impact on them or their family, 39% expecting a small impact, and 18% unsure of the impact they should expect. In fact, only 9% of those included in our research thought it would have no impact on them or their family.

The confusion surrounding Health Reform is both an opportunity and a challenge for insurers to take a leadership role and become educators and trusted advisors for consumers to turn to, according to the study's authors.--Tanya Irwin

Tags: health, research
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