Monday, January 26, 2015

Healthy, wealthy and worried

Even people with health insurance who call themselves financially secure worry that they can't cover their out-of-pocket costs if a medical emergency strikes, a new survey from eHealth shows.

Two-thirds of 1,000 insured adults polled by Wakefield Research described themselves as financially secure,  yet half of that group said they would struggle to meet their deductible in case of an expensive crisis. The trend was even more pronounced among adults ages 25 to 39,  who described themselves as wealthier,  healthier and more optimistic about their finances than older counterparts. But 69 percent of the young adults doubted they could afford their deductibles.  Confidence about out-of-pocket costs was highest among those 55 and older.


Out-of-pocket costs are rising as employers and people who buy their own insurance try to rein in premiums.  eHealth's price index shows what many others have reported:  People are trending toward plans with higher deductibles this year.

eHealth, an online insurance exchange,  launched its Coverage Satisfaction Index to track consumer opinions about coverage,  health and finances  (read an overview of the December poll here).  The sampling was designed to be representative of the nation,  though the South accounted for 37 percent of those polled  (compared with 20 to 22 percent for the other three zones).  About 35 percent reported income of  at least $75,000,  with the rest evenly divided between those in the $35,000 to $74,999 bracket and those earning less.

Some of the results:

*Eighty-six percent described themselves as at least somewhat satisfied with the value of their current health plan,  with 40 percent saying they are very satisfied.  The poll found no difference among those who bought their own coverage and those who got it from an employer,  but those with such government-funded plans as Medicare,  Medicaid and military insurance topped 90 percent satisfaction.

*One-third of men and 38 percent of women said they've skipped medical procedures,  such as exams and immunizations,  to save money.

*Opinions are split on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their health benefits,  with 32 percent saying it's positive,  28 percent negative and 40 percent saying there's no effect.  Those under age 40 were most supportive of the ACA,  with 45 percent citing a positive impact.

*When asked to name their top three financial fears,  "an expensive medical emergency"  topped the list  --  though that may be no surprise,  coming after a long list of questions about the costs of care.  Asked whether they spent more time thinking about the cost of their health insurance or their cable package,  63 percent said insurance and 37 percent said cable.

5 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

Interesting numbers but they are puzzling to me. They are sort of all over the board.

We upended the insurance industry to cover 40 million people who had no insurance(12.5% of the population), of which upwards of 30 million still lack insurance.

Many claim they couldn't afford insurance.

In this survey, about 35% (includes men and women) are skipping exams, etc. so instead of heading off a major surgery that may arise due to NOT going to the doctor and paying for an office visit, they wait until a medical issue gets much worse to take care of it.

Doesn't make sense to me.

There was no mention in your article as to what the average or range of deductibles were from those polled. They can't "afford" office visits but can afford huge catastrophic medical procedure deductibles?

Take the Charlotte woman who said Obamacare saved her life because it paid for her brain tumor removal. We're all estatic she had it removed and she is doing well, but I would be interested in the numbers behind her story.

She had no insurance since 2009 (couldn't afford it), got a plan under Obamacare and had the surgery.

What was she paying in 2009?

What are her payments now?

What is her deductible under the Obamacare plan?

What out of pocket is she facing for such a high-cost surgery?

Many of the Obamacare plans deductibles are huge, so I would be curious as to how this person and others in her situation, are paying for the $5,000, $8,000 or higher out of pockets these plan charge?

Who pays for it if they can't?

Anonymous said...

OC adds 2 trillion to the national debt redistribution for rhetorical questions so you pick up the whole tab.

OC also pays for sex changes as a preexisting condition laughably giving it new meaning but par for the course.

Forget the genealogy through the ages requires being hetero to procreate.

Only in the OC age can you blame your Maker for screwing up your genetics for a first. Total lunacy.

In other words nothing is learned and you dont have free choice.

So when did normal people not have a natural choice to be hetero?

The whole deal is a blasphemous joke.

America has total liberal idiots running this nation.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/25/obamacare-now-pays-for-gender-reassignment.html

Anabelle Quinto said...

I don't fully understand. Since what I know is that a lot of people are not insured, even life and long term care insurance are struggling to reach out the people.
Wiley Coyote is right this is interesting but I have doubts to it.

Melanie Tillman said...

You can never say you're financially secured nowadays since newer and pricier expenses will come your way in retirement. Unless you have purchased insurance products like life insurance, disability insurance or long term care insurance. There are myriad of products available nowadays but I'm surprised that a lot of people are purchasing too late and thus giving them high premiums or not purchasing at all.

I can see that a lot of people are worried about their future healthcare costs but only a handful of people are doing the necessary steps in order to protect their finances and loved ones. The cost of healthcare and long term care should be taken seriously. Around 7 out of 10 of Americans 65 and above will require long term care. So what is long term care? It is described by http://longtermcare.gov/the-basics/what-is-long-term-care/ and http://www.ltcoptions.com/learn-the-basics/what-is-long-term-care/ as services catered to your needs if old age, disability or illness will make it hard for you to take care of yourself. It's cost is skyrocketing nowadays. As a matter of fact, the median cost of nuring home is about $88,000 annually while the average cost of assisted living facility is $43,000 annually. Shouldering these expenses out-of-the-pocket will most likely exhaust your retirement income or you will become a burden to your loved ones.

So while it's early, plan ahead by creating a well-developed retirement plan comprising of different ways to boost your retirement income and insurance products that can help you cover your expenses.

Thank you for sharing this very informative post, which I'm sure will be appreciated by many and help a lot of people too in securing their finances.

Melanie Tillman said...

You can never say you're financially secured nowadays since newer and pricier expenses will come your way in retirement. Unless you have purchased insurance products like life insurance, disability insurance or long term care insurance. There are myriad of products available nowadays but I'm surprised that a lot of people are purchasing too late and thus giving them high premiums or not purchasing at all.

I can see that a lot of people are worried about their future healthcare costs but only a handful of people are doing the necessary steps in order to protect their finances and loved ones. The cost of healthcare and long term care should be taken seriously. Around 7 out of 10 of Americans 65 and above will require long term care. So what is long term care? It is described by http://longtermcare.gov/the-basics/what-is-long-term-care/ and http://www.ltcoptions.com/learn-the-basics/what-is-long-term-care/ as services catered to your needs if old age, disability or illness will make it hard for you to take care of yourself. It's cost is skyrocketing nowadays. As a matter of fact, the median cost of nuring home is about $88,000 annually while the average cost of assisted living facility is $43,000 annually. Shouldering these expenses out-of-the-pocket will most likely exhaust your retirement income or you will become a burden to your loved ones.

So while it's early, plan ahead by creating a well-developed retirement plan comprising of different ways to boost your retirement income and insurance products that can help you cover your expenses.

Thank you for sharing this very informative post, which I'm sure will be appreciated by many and help a lot of people too in securing their finances.