Consumers have been conditioned to disengage from healthcare decisions by years of having insurance coverage that paid for most healthcare costs and having what are now viewed as relatively small deductibles, the report says.
Now they have to take a more active role and make decisions beyond just selecting a health plan, and many are not ready. They are trying to learn about an industry that seems to have its own language and which demands that many decisions be made, some with potentially significant financial consequences.
Forty-four percent of respondents said "making savings and investment decisions" was challenging or extremely challenging, and 41% had the same view of "understanding and managing my benefit accounts."
Thirty-six percent found "knowing what type of expenses are eligible for my benefit account" to be challenging or extremely challenging, and 34% felt that way ab out "using payment and reimbursement tools."
The report says the research "affirms that consumers feel the impact of the consumerism movement in healthcare and they are struggling to manage their increased financial responsibility."
It also says the survey "clearly signals the need for significant education, tools, and support that engages and empowers consumers to take ownership and make savvier healthcare decisions."