82% of high-deductible health plan members feel they make more informed health decisions

Eighty-two percent of high-deductible health plan members feel managing their healthcare spending account helps them make smarter health decisions, according to a recent survey commissioned by WEX Health, a healthcare financial technology provider.

For its "2018 Clear Insights Report", WEX Health commissioned an online survey that fielded responses from approximately 1,100 American adults with employer-provided health insurance. The survey aimed to understand respondents' views on their benefit plans, how they select their benefits and how they leverage their plans. 

Here are seven things to know.

1. The primary reasons high-deductible health plan members selected to also enroll in a health savings account were to save for future healthcare needs (36 percent) and have an ability to save for out-of-pocket or unexpected medical costs (29 percent).

2. Nearly 50 percent of respondents were somewhat or very worried about the cost of healthcare in retirement and about two-thirds were somewhat or very worried about unexpected healthcare costs for current needs or illnesses. 

3. Twenty-five percent of respondents forgo healthcare services "all the time" or "often" due to out-of-pocket expenses.

4. If faced with an unexpected healthcare cost of $1,000 or more, 33 percent of respondents would use their HSA, 25 percent aren't sure how they would cover it and 20 percent would put it on a credit card.

5. When asked what the most challenging part about using a high-deductible health plan is, 29 percent said making sure they have enough funds set aside to cover deductible expenses, 21 percent said figuring out how much money to put into the account and 14 percent said managing bills from their physician.

6. More than half (54 percent) of respondents were not aware they could invest funds from their health savings account in stocks or other investment opportunities.

7. Three-quarters of American adults see their HSA as a way to pay for healthcare expenses this year, which may suggest they are not aware the funds can be carried over into the next year, according to the report.

Download the full report here.

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