What Consumers Think About Healthcare

October 22, 2019

Annual survey shares thousands of Americans are largely satisfied with their healthcare options, but many factors like cost remain a concern.

Inside the 7th Annual Transamerica Center for Health Studies’ (TCHS) Consumer Survey, Americans report they are largely satisfied with their healthcare options, reported PR Newswire.

In the survey, Americans Settle in During Healthcare Uncertainty, 3,760 adults ages 18 to 64 years provided information based on their healthcare concerns while efforts to repeal and replace the ACA were made and continuous changes to the federal statue have been made, according to TCHS’s findings.

As a result of these changes, consumers have varying degrees of awareness that possible health policy changes may impact their health coverage and healthcare in general, the findings say.

In this year’s findings, areas covering health policy, coverage, healthcare, affordability, technology, and prescription drugs were a focus.

However, affordability seems to be one of the biggest concerns.

According to the survey, 32% of Americans say being able to pay for the care they need is the most important component of the healthcare system.

Healthcare costs are having a negative impact on personal healthcare with 27% of Americans canceling a medical appointment due to expected costs. Those who mainly fall in this category are minorities and younger generations. Among the uninsured, 48% of Americans say they don't have coverage because of the cost, and 71% say prescription drugs are too costly.

"Health costs can be very expensive, particularly for the 66% of Americans reporting a physical or mental health condition," said Hector De La Torre, executive director of TCHS in the PR Newswire report. "Even for those without a health condition, there is always a concern that they or their loved ones may someday require healthcare that can devastate their finances."

On the national policy level, 42% of Americans have a positive impression of the ACA, holding mostly consistent since 2017. Black/African American adults, about 35%, are more likely to have a very positive impression of the ACA, while Latinos are at 25%, Asian/Pacific Islander are at 19% and White make up 17%.

A strong majority of Americans agree that drug prices are too high and that the government should intervene:

  • Seventy-eight percent feel the federal government should be allowed to negotiate prescription drug prices.

  • Twenty-two percent have purposely not taken medications as prescribed by their doctor in the past 12 months because the cost was too high.

In addition to not taking prescribed medications due to cost, 34% have asked their doctor about a diagnosis or treatment they found online and 17% of adults say they have insisted on receiving a treatment, medication or test against their doctor's recommendation, which is potentially affecting their ability to recover from disease or maintain good health.

Some positive signs with regard to affordability are:

  • Slightly fewer Americans report premium costs increased in 2019 (30% compared to 35% in 2018).

  • Fewer Americans report for deductibles concerns (26% compared to 29% in 2018).

Employer-based health coverage is at the top with health insurance, the report says.

Fifty-one adults agree they have to stay at their current job for the health insurance. In addition, 30% said they had to leave a previous job because their company did not offer health insurance and health benefits, and this trend has steadily increased since 2017.