Consumer driven plans are getting more popular, but many consumers are not prepared to make their own healthcare choices, according to an Aflac survey. The survey reveals the following about consumers:
• 72% have never heard the phrase, “consumer-driven health care.”
• 54% don’t want more control over their insurance options because they think they don’t have the time or knowledge to manage it.
• 62% expect to be responsible for paying for more of their medical costs while only 23% are saving money for potential increases.
• 32% are not very or at all knowledgeable about health savings accounts.
• 76% are not very or at all knowledgeable about federal and state health care exchanges.
• 49% are not very or at all knowledgeable about health reimbursement. accounts.
• 25% are not very or at all knowledgeable about flex spending accounts.
• 75% expect their employer to educate them about changes to their health care coverage as a result of health reform, but only 13% of employers say that it is important for them to educate employees about health care reform.
Many workers already find health insurance decisions daunting. Fifty-three percent fear that they may not manage their coverage adequately, leaving their families less protected. Eighty-nine percent choose the same benefits year over year, and many don’t understand their options.
Fifty-three percent of employers have implemented a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) over the past three years — a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. A 2012 Employer Health Plan Study by J.D. Power and Associates found that 47% of employers would definitely or probably switch to a defined contribution health care plan.
Fifty-five percent of workers have not done anything to prepare for changes to the health care system even with the shift towards HDHPs, defined contribution plans, and insurance exchanges. The U.S. government predicts that household out-of-pocket health care expenses will reach an average of $3,301 per year by 2014. However, only 23% of workers are saving more in anticipation of potential increases in medical costs; 46% have less than $1,000 in savings to use for out-of-pocket expenses associated with an unexpected serious illness or accident; and 25% have less than $500.