Consumer Say Costs Are Rising While Access to Care is Dropping

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped to boost the number of insured Americans to the highest levels since 2008. But a new survey from Radius Global Market Research (Radius GMR) shows that consmers are struggling to deal with having more costs shifted to them. As costs shift to consumers, patients are making fewer office visits, switching medicines more often, and using non-traditional offices for care, says Kathleen of Radius GMR. These changes are affecting doctors’ ability to have high quality relationships with their patients. Patients will need greater transparency to make decisions about their healthcare as they trade off healthcare with other household expenditures.

One in three Americans rank rising health care costs among their top-three concerns. Nearly half of all households experienced increased costs compared to the last year and more than half anticipate additional increases in the next six months. More than half of those who experienced increases in health care costs in the past year had increases to their premiums. Most households think they can do better in terms of premiums. Two-thirds of Americans covered via the Affordable Care Act (ACA) say they’ll change plans in 2015.

About one in four households are visiting their doctor less frequently and/or experiencing longer wait times at the doctor’s office. Twenty-four percent say it’s getting harder to get an appointment with the doctor. In lieu of a timely appointment, most patients are likely to self-medicate with OTC or herbs/alternative treatments.

One-third of those surveyed say had had problems with prescriptions not being covered by health insurance. In addition to having decreased access to name brand drugs, prescriptions are more likely to be switched to generics if they are available. One-fourth of prescriptions recently switched to generic. Within the past six months, one-third of chronic condition prescriptions were switched to generics. For more information, visit www.radius-global.com.

Last Updated 10/20/2021

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