Consumers continue to play an increasingly active role in making health care decisions. Financially, American consumers now pay more for care directly than they ever have in the past. As the prevalence of high-deductible plans continues to rise, this trend shows no signs of slowing.
In addition, the trend toward greater levels of information transparency has gained momentum and continues to expand. Both health plans and independent organizations now provide metrics that allow consumers to compare price, quality, and safety. Use of online and mobile information technologies is also making health care more accessible. As consumer expectations increase for similar tools in health care, both entrepreneurs and traditional medical institutions are competing to fill that space.
Additionally, health plan executives are preparing for a new mechanism for selling and administering coverage to individuals in 2014. With the launch of state health insurance exchanges, insurers will need to attract and retain individual users directly through new marketplaces. Much remains unknown about what sorts of information consumers will require in these insurance systems.
In this evolving, consumer-focused environment, there is a need for more knowledge about the information-seeking and care-seeking habits of consumers and the factors that influence them. The Fall 2012 Altarum Survey of Consumer Health Care Opinions is the third in a semiannual series of surveys that are intended to reveal how consumers perceive and make choices in health care and changes in consumer perceptions over time. Download the complete report.
Fall 2012 Altarum Survey of Consumer Health Care Opinions: