Healthcare finances a source of fear for 75% of consumers

When it comes to managing their healthcare finances, consumers are optimistic about the future but frustrated with reality, according to a State of Denial survey from Alegeus.

For the survey, more than 1,000 U.S. residents responded to questions about their financial experience amid the rise of consumer-directed healthcare.

Here are 10 survey findings.

1. A vast majority of consumers (66 percent) rate preparing to incur out-of-pocket cost to be the most challenging and stressful aspect of managing their healthcare.

2. The survey found half of consumers don't know how to predict current or future out-of-pocket healthcare costs or determine the appropriate way to save to meet these costs.

3. Twenty-three percent of consumers don't save for healthcare beyond the current year and the majority of these consumers underfund their healthcare savings each year.

4. More than 75 percent of consumers report their healthcare finances as a source of fear, according to the survey.

5. More than half of consumers (51 percent) fear an unexpected healthcare expense they cannot afford before they've built their healthcare savings.

6. Forty-five percent of consumers fear they may not be saving appropriately because they don't know how much they are likely to spend.

7. Thirty-two percent of consumers are optimistic about the future of their personal healthcare finances.

8. Alegeus said consumers were asked to pick the top five words that reflect their personal feelings when they think of today's healthcare environment. Out of 32 choices, 14 were negative, 14 were positive and four were neutral.

9. Consumers most trust their physicians (59 percent) and family and peers (56 percent) for sound advice regarding their healthcare and finances.

10. Most consumers (90 percent) want to better understand and engage in the management of their healthcare, the survey found.

"This research affirms that consumers feel the impact of the consumerism movement in healthcare and they need help to manage their increased financial responsibilities," Steven Auerbach, Alegeus CEO, said in a news release. "There is tremendous opportunity for the future winners in healthcare to create a real environment that supports and guides consumers." 



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