KEY TAKEAWAY: Americans are really stressed about their healthcare and they believe nobody is listening to their concerns. It’s causing some to stay in jobs they dislike because of the health coverage while causing others to spend more time online looking at healthcare treatment options when it comes to cost.
There is nothing quite as sobering as listening to people talk about healthcare costs in research. This research was conducted in Houston, Denver and Raleigh. The topline results are consistent throughout all groups (n=56) and all demographics.
1ne: Although most people in the focus groups have company sponsored insurance they are concerned about the rising costs of the insurance. In the majority of people annual raises were offset by rising costs of health insurance.
2wo: Rising prices of pharma brands were noted by the rising costs in co-pays. Some people said that they had asked for “lower cost” alternatives when available.
3hree: Nearly everyone felt that the government would not provide solutions for the rising healthcare costs.
4our: Going online to seek information on how to cut their healthcare costs varied by the seriousness of the condition, however the majority were afraid of the potential life savings depletion of treatment(s).
5ive: Most believe that their health insurers are “not on their side” and just trying to cut costs to save money.
6ix: Some said that their pharmacist was “instrumental” in helping them save money on Rx’s. For example, one person had talked about switching to GSK’s Breo because it was “free” with no co-pay.
7even: Caregivers are afraid they won’t have the financial resources to take care of a loved one who may require extended treatments.
8ight: The party seen as caring less about healthcare are the Republicans.
9ine: Various members of the groups shared their experiences of being treated at a hospital only to be surprised at the charges they thought were covered but were not because certain doctors were out of network.
10en: When asked “what are you doing to cope with rising healthcare costs?” some said they are evaluating employment by the type of insurance offered or staying in their current jobs because their health insurance was good.
It’s hard for me to put into words the anger, frustration and fear of the people in these groups when talking about their healthcare concerns. They are looking for solutions and reading the experiences of other people in trying to manage health costs, but it usually required “a lot of time online”.
It’s clear that insurance and pharma companies both are failing to address the anxiety of patients who don’t think that “anyone is really listening or cares”.