Nearly Half of Americans Avoid Health Care due to Costs

According to the 2022 Annual Consumer Sentiment Benchmark Report by HealthSpark, nearly half of Americans avoid or delay going to the doctor over price concerns.

New laws require that insurance companies provide more transparency around pricing. The survey looked at consumer opinions regarding price transparency and how cost influences care.

As more and more people engage with telehealth services, transparency tools were defined as online services such as those that let consumers search for network providers, get cost estimates for procedures, and receive guidance and support regarding treatment options.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • A majority of consumers believe online tools help them make informed decisions (89%), understand coverage (91%), and manage costs (81%).
  • Over 50 percent of people with high-deductibles worry about unknown costs and 44 percent of consumers avoid getting care because of price concerns.
  • Two-thirds of respondents used online tools in the past year and were unaware that new laws require that insurance companies provide price transparency.
  • More than 70 percent of people want to schedule appointments with online tools.

Approximately six in ten people also expressed a desire for better information on providers such as in-depth profiles.

“All respondents in our survey have health insurance, so seeing the rates of care avoidance due to uncertainty about costs is concerning and something health plans need to take note of,” said Mark Menton, General Manager of HealthSparq.

“We can eliminate some of this uncertainty and delayed care by continuing to raise awareness about price transparency tools offered by health plans.”

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