5 healthcare consumer spending and saving trends to know

U.S. consumers are showing greater engagement in their medical expenses, although there is still improvement that can be made, according to Alegeus' 2017 Healthcare Consumerism Index.

For the index, researchers surveyed more than 1,400 consumers about their healthcare spending and saving.

Here are five findings.


1. The 2017 healthcare spending index was 60.1 on a 0-100 point scale, an improvement from last year's 54.4. Alegeus said a higher number indicates a greater degree of consumerism displayed. Therefore, the company said, this finding shows "spending behaviors are starting to change" amid the rise in popularity of high-deductible health plans.

2. Consumers are also showing greater engagement when it comes to their healthcare finances, according to Alegeus. More than half of consumers (55 percent) find out price prior to medical care, a 15 percent year-over-year increase, while 60 percent research quality ratings for physicians and facilities, an 11 percent year-over-year increase. A similar number of consumers (64 percent) reported they grasp out-of-pocket costs associated with their insurance coverage. That's a 9 percent year-over-year increase.

3. But Alegeus said consumers still exhibit more thoughtfulness with buying a TV and booking travel than about healthcare decisions. That's exhibited through a 78.9 rating score for buying a TV and a 73.2 rating score for booking travel compared to the 60.4 healthcare spending index.


4.The 2017 healthcare saving index was 25.9, which Alegeus said "signals a shift in behavior with consumers demonstrating an 18 percent year-over-year improvement in focus on saving for current and future healthcare needs."

5. As far as healthcare financial behavior, Alegeus said only 30 percent of consumers "save aggressively for long-term healthcare needs" and only 41 percent "understand what their long-term healthcare expenses will be in retirement."

Access the full survey results here.


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