As the world enters a possible recession, consumers are worried about what that may mean for their personal health, a new survey shows.
About 93% of respondents are “extremely,” “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the state of the economy, the survey from insurance company Oscar Health found. Another 44% of respondents listed the economy as their top healthcare concern.
The report, released this month, was conducted online in partnership with Morning Consult. It received responses from 1,000 people, including Medicare, Medicaid and ACA beneficiaries.
The state of the economy beat out other current crises in healthcare, the survey found. About 25% of respondents listed the Covid-19 pandemic and other viruses like monkeypox as their top concern when it comes to their personal health. After that, 11% said shortages of essential products, 10% said the political environment, 8% said economic equality and 3% said racial equality.
Additionally, four in five of the respondents who said they expect their healthcare spending to increase next year said it will be because of higher costs, the Oscar Health survey discovered.
Due to the economic climate, consumers are making changes to their health insurance coverage during this year’s open enrollment period, which began on November 1 and will end January 15 for most states. More than a quarter of respondents said they will consider a new brand of health insurance. Of the respondents who are uninsured, about half said they are considering signing up for health insurance coverage. Other actions consumers are considering include changing their job for better health insurance, relocating for better health insurance and opting out of dental or vision insurance.
The changes in the economy will require adjustments from the healthcare industry, said Jackie Kahn, chief communications officer of Oscar Health.
“The U.S. healthcare system continues to shift towards a more consumer-driven model to meet the demand for affordability and ease of use,” Kahn said in a news release.
Even with uncertain times ahead, Americans don’t anticipate changing their healthcare utilization, the survey found. For example, most respondents said they expect to maintain their use of primary care services, specialty care services, vaccines, preventative care, prescriptions and routine medical screening.
Still, Americans will need support during these economic challenges.
“As Americans recover from the effects of a multi-year pandemic, coupled with an increasingly uncertain financial landscape, the availability of reliable healthcare is at a critical point,” an Oscar Health news release stated.
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