Marc Eagleton, News

Consumers are increasingly taking action to reduce costs and get better value for their health care dollars. But many are not fully prepared to manage financial responsibilities when it comes to their health care, according to the Alegeus’ 2017 Healthcare Consumerism Index. The survey of more than 1,400 U.S. healthcare consumers evaluated two aspects of healthcare consumerism – spending and saving.

Consumers are doing a better job of getting information on providers, and they’re gaining a better understanding of their financial responsibilities:

• 55% find out the price before getting a medical service — a 15% increase over 2016.
• 60% research quality ratings of physicians and facilities — an 11% increase over 2016.
• 64% understand the cost obligations of their insurance coverage — a 9% increase over 2016.

For most consumers, health care savings fall behind other savings categories. For example, 50 percent are making contributions toward retirement each month – more than twice the number who are saving for healthcare. The following statistics reveal that many consumers are not fully prepared for health care costs:

• 30% save aggressively for long-term healthcare needs.
• 36% have budgeted to make monthly contributions to their healthcare savings.
• 29% invest their healthcare savings in stocks/bonds/mutual funds for growth.
• 32% have savings goals to cover long-term health care costs.
• 41% understand what long-term health care expenses will be in retirement.
• 34% are confident that they are saving at an appropriate rate to cover long-term health care needs.