Consumers frustrated with medical insurance coverage, costs

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Americans worry about insurance coverage costs and would really like to see more solutions around transparency and out-of-pockets costs from healthcare institutions. That is in accordance with a recent PhRMA/Ipsos poll, which uncovered some frustrations over paying for and navigating the healthcare system.

Many frustrations with healthcare hinge on inadequate medical insurance coverage, the confusion with navigating insurance barriers to access, and the unexpected expenses and coverage issues patients experience.

Conducted amongst 2,510 American adults, the poll found a bi-partisan supermajority (87%) of Americans feel politicians have lost touch with what the general public needs from their healthcare. 

In keeping with how the general public ranks healthcare issues – with “medical insurance costs and coverage” topping the list of priorities, only behind the “coronavirus pandemic” – 86% of Americans agree that Congress should concentrate on cracking down on abusive insurance practices that make it harder for people to get the care they need. 

On that, there’s agreement across party lines; 92% of Democratic and 84% of Republican registered voters agree.

Relatedly, when given the selection between two options, Americans would somewhat see Congress focus more on reducing the general costs of coverage corresponding to premiums, deductibles and copays (71%) than reducing the prices of prescribed drugs (29%).

WHAT’S THE IMPACT

When navigating the healthcare system, overcoming insurance coverage barriers, the confusion of insurance coverage, the prices of care and the dearth of transparency are a number of the biggest obstacles for Americans, numbers showed.

Up to now 12 months, 43% of people that take prescription medications, or their families, have faced at the very least one insurance barrier to their care. These experiences range from waiting for an insurer to approve a medication their doctor prescribed – prior authorization – to the insurer requiring a patient to try a unique medicine or not covering a doctor-prescribed medicine in any respect. That is within the context of 89% who say taking their medications helps them stay healthy.

Thirty-nine percent report worrying about the way to pay in the event that they or their family need treatment. Thirty-one percent have avoided going to the doctor due to the associated fee.

Greater than two in five Americans (43%) report that that they had a difficult time understanding or navigating their medical insurance.

Notably, consumers with private insurance are among the many probably to agree that health insurers should publicly share any record they’ve of denying claims to a bunch of individuals or patients with a specific disease (87%) and disclose how often they deny doctor-recommended care (82%). Moreover, 78% of privately insured consumers agree that insurers should share the savings they negotiate.

THE LARGER TREND

When asked to select the highest two ideas that might create probably the most positive personal impact on out-of-pocket costs and affordability, one in three (33%) consider that placing a cap on the quantity health insurers could make patients pay for his or her deductibles, copays, and other out-of-pocket costs would create a positive impact for them personally. 

Here, Democratic registered voters (40%) usually tend to see a positive personal impact from this approach than Republican (31%) or independent (34%) registered voters.

Other ideas that individuals feel would profit them personally include giving insurers more incentives to maintain the prices of health plans manageable for people who find themselves sick and taking prescription medication (17%), and requiring medical insurance firms to be more transparent about which medicines are covered and what patients pays out-of-pocket for prescription medicines (16%).
 

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the author: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com

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