Everybody likes to release research to show how knowledgeable and credible they are and big health plan companies are no exception. UnitedHealth Group, the country’s largest private insurer, releases results of a “Consumer Sentiment” survey. (UHG Survey) The survey focuses on aspects of health care coverage. 77% of respondents said they were either fully or very prepared for open enrollment season, in which they choose their health coverage, if they have a choice, for the coming year, which is interesting because 42% said they spend less than one hour on the process and 29% spend between one and three hours, which may again reflect just how much choice employees actually have. In comparing plans, 17% said they care more about out-of-pocket expenses, 14% care more about premium contributions and 40% said they give them equal weight. 67% said they check to be sure the doctors they normally see are in the network. 85% said they care about having some dental benefits, while 80% value a vision benefit. 83% of millennials, 69% of GenXers, and 63% of baby boomers have used the internet to look for information on a health issue, but 29% said doing this actually increased their anxiety about health while 23% said their anxiety decreased. 36% of all respondents had used the internet to comparison shop for medical services on a quality or cost basis, with 51% of millennials doing this. 84% of those who did comparison shop said they found it helpful. 43% said they were likely to use telemedicine for health needs, but a surprising 36% said they were unlikely to consider that option.
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Author Kevin Roche
The Healthy Skeptic is a website about the health care system, and is written by Kevin Roche, who has many years of experience working in the health industry through Roche Consulting, LLC. Mr. Roche is available to assist health care companies through consulting arrangements and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.