6 survey findings on US consumer medical payments

More than a quarter of one-time medical payments are made via billers' websites, according to a report from ACI Worldwide and Aite Group.

The report, released Tuesday, is based on a survey of 2,429 individuals who pay expenses in their households. It examines generational differences in paying bills and how the various channels and methods consumers used in 2016 to pay their most common bills have changed since 2013 and 2010. Billing categories examined include life insurance, health insurance, medical payments, federal income taxes, vehicle registration, property insurance and student loans, among others.

Here are six survey findings.

General trends

1. Fifty-six percent of all bills are paid online via a biller, bank or third-party website, the survey found.

2. Bills paid by check declined 20 percent between 2010 and 2016, while the number of bills paid via Automated Clearing House rose 10 percent and those paid by a credit card have doubled to 15 percent.

3. The survey found the amount of bills paid via mail declines with each younger generation. Forty percent of bills paid by seniors were sent through the mail, but that percentage declines with each younger generation, down to 15 percent of one-time bills paid by millennials. However, the use of billers' websites represents 44 percent of all one-time payments made by millennials, while it represents 19 percent for seniors, according to the survey.

Health insurance

4. More than 34 percent of health insurance one-time bill payments (payments paid specifically by the individual and not through payroll), are made via billers' websites, and 5 percent of one-time payments are now made via mobile payments, the survey found.

Medical payments

5. More than a quarter (25.3 percent) of one-time medical payments (those related to hospital, laboratory, physician or dentist bills other than co-pays) are made via billers' websites and 33.4 percent by mail, according to the survey.

6. Most (80 percent) of mail-in payments are made by check, and 71.5 percent of recurring medical payments are made via Automated Clearing House.

 

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