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 around 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
Americans feel pretty helpless about their individual ability to lower health care costs. Most people look to health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry to be responsible for lowering health costs in the U.S.
A survey from Chadwick Martin Bailey and South Street Strategy looks at Americans’ views on health reform and health care costs in late summer 2010 and finds people still confused about how health reform will impact them, and impotent in their ability to lower their costs.
American Consumers Uncertain About Health Reform summarizes the survey results, with the top line finding that 74% of people expect that health reform will impact their families in some way. However, many people aren’t certain what these impacts will be.
One thing’s for certain: Americans continue to worry about health care costs, and they blame health insurers and pharma companies for the high costs of health care. Health plans, along with government, are seen as the two key sources to provide information about health care reform (74% and 61%, respectively). However, only 14% of Americans look to pharmaceutical companies as a source for health reform information.
Methodology: Chadwick Martin Bailey polled 1,504 adults aged 18 and over online during the week of August 23, 2010. The researchers also conducted individual interviews to gain additional insights into peoples’ beliefs about health reform.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: This poll finds that Americans tend to feel quite helpless in the face of rising health costs, and also don’t quite understand how health reform could impact them. They blame health plans and pharma for their cost-woes.
The opportunity for these two sectors is to connect with health citizens in at least three ways:
1 – As information providers that can help consumers understand how health reform could impact their own and their families’ health.
2 – As support networks to help people navigate the changing health system.
3 – As partners in bending consumers’ personal health cost curves.
The third tactic might seem counter-intuitive: after all, health plans and drug companies are for-profit entities looking to maximize revenues for shareholders. However, given that these companies also sit toward the bottom of the industry reputation rosters, making efforts to help consumers manage cost could help to re-build eroding trust between the companies and consumers.
For health insurance, it’s about delivering value-based plans at a rational price, enhanced with useful tools, transparency and helpful, easy-to-navigate, actionable information. For pharma, it’s participating in greater dialogue about risks, providing tools for managing chronic conditions, and expanding and making drug assistance programs more accessible. Some branded pharma companies should re-examine their role in the generics business, demand for which will continue to grow with or without health reform.
Consumers surveyed in a new study said they hope their health insurance companies will help them understand healthcare reform and how it will impact their lives.
The study, released Thursday by Chadwick Martin Bailey, a Boston-based custom market research firm, asked 1,500 consumers how they feel about healthcare reform.
"There is quite a bit of confusion around healthcare reform, yet our research shows that Americans expect this reform to impact them personally – they're just not sure how," said Amy Modini, an account director in Chadwick Martin Bailey's healthcare practice. "Going forward, we see that people are expecting their insurance carriers to help clear up this confusion and be a trusted source of information."
According to the study, 75 percent of consumers see health insurance companies as responsible for lowering health costs, significantly more than those pointing the finger at government agencies (46 percent).
The study also found that 67 percent of consumers believe they have little or no impact when it comes to lowering their healthcare costs.
"The confusion around 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," said Mark Carr, a managing partner of the South Street Strategy Group, a sister company of Chadwick Martin Bailey. "This is just the first of many challenges health reform will pose for carriers."
"As reform shifts a significant portion of the insurance market from a wholesale to a retail market, many insurers, who are largely B-to-B marketers, will need to develop new, more differentiated value propositions and go-to-market strategies," Carr said.