New research identifies three main health benefits stressors for individuals

November 2, 2022

From gas prices to groceries and everything in between, we’ve all felt the pinch in our pocketbooks lately. This only adds to the stress of high healthcare coverage cost in the traditional healthcare system – a problem that has haunted many people for far too long.

Gravie partnered with Wakefield Research to conduct a nationwide study in order to gain better insight about peoples’ outlook of the current state of health benefits. The results confirm the pressing nature of the issue, and they paint a clear picture of the challenges of the traditional healthcare system with three main themes rising to the top.

1. High costs are impacting individuals’ access to care

It’s an unfortunate reality that the high costs of healthcare are preventing people from getting the care they desperately need. Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of what health benefits are designed to protect?

Our study found that over half of consumers have delayed or canceled exams, treatments, or procedures due to the high costs of insurance over the last year. In addition, 86% of consumers are concerned their health benefits will not cover a portion of their exams, treatments or procedures for the year. On top of this, people find health insurance confusing, with over one-third of consumers reporting that figuring out what is covered under their employer health plan to be more stressful than the challenges of their current job.

2. Medical debt is increasing

High medical costs haven’t always meant foregoing care; however, the rising cost of healthcare has increased consumers’ debt load. Ninety-one percent of consumers expressed experiencing an obstacle related to payment of healthcare expenses. Fifty-nine percent of consumers have experienced consequences within the last year due to obstacles or delays in scheduling medical exams, treatments, or procedures, including increased mental stress, using personal time at work, increased pain, being unable to take care of a family member, losing their job, etc.

This begs a daunting question: At what point will individuals decide that insurance is no longer serving its intended purpose when out-of-pocket expenses become increasingly burdensome?

In addition to health benefits being a safety net for the very sick, we believe in a world where health plans can promote better engagement in the healthcare system to reduce the likelihood of more catastrophic claims that have significant impact on health and finances. 

3. Mental health coverage is severely lacking

Mental illnesses are on the rise, and whether from the pandemic or simply due to increasing awareness, more people are recognizing that mental health is just as important as physical health. It has become evident that the need for holistic health including both mind and body is growing. However, our research revealed that the ability to pay for mental healthcare coverage hasn’t caught up to the need for treatment, a gap negatively affecting peoples’ wellbeing.

Seventy-one percent of consumers state that their health plan does not cover mental health, and over two-thirds of consumers are concerned that their current mental health coverage does not address the needs of themselves and their family. Forty-two percent of consumers have faced increased stress or were unable to enjoy life due to delayed medical treatment. Plans that do not cover mental health care are already antiquated in our book.

A different way forward

As employers know, the time and energy spent navigating these stressors can impact an employees’ day-to-day life and time on the job in a big way. Gravie has long been driving change and improving the healthcare industry by creating innovative employer-sponsored health benefits that put consumers first.

  • Gravie’s flagship product, Comfort™, is the nation’s first-of-its-kind health plan that provides 100% coverage on most common healthcare services at a cost comparable to most traditional group health plans.
  • In the rare circumstance that out-of-pocket costs do arise, members have access to Gravie Pay™, an interest-free, pay-over-time option they can use to pay for medical expenses subject to their out-of-pocket responsibility.
  • For those who need mental health therapy, it’s covered with Comfort, whether it’s in-office or virtually through a partnership with Teladoc Health.

While this study confirmed what we already knew to be true, it clearly shows us we as an industry need to do better going forward.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can give your clients access to the most innovate health plan on the market? Let’s talk.

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