Weighing the costs of healthcare

October 13, 2022


It’s no secret that consumers are concerned about the rising costs of healthcare in the U.S., and for good reason — the U.S. has one of the highest costs of healthcare in the world.

With nearly half of U.S. adults finding it very or somewhat difficult to afford their healthcare costs, the team at Gravie wanted to dive deeper into how these heavy bills are impacting people’s abilities to actually access the care they need.

The results are in from a new nationwide survey conducted by Gravie and Wakefield Research in August of this year on what consumers are most concerned about on the cusp of open enrollment season – and, unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of room for improvement within the health benefits industry.

Astronomical bills lead to delayed care

The crushing weight of potential medical debt is a worry that keeps many up at night, so much so that over half of consumers have delayed or canceled exams, treatment, or procedures due to the high cost of insurance over the last year.

For individuals who have traditional, high-deductible plans, they will often plan out their doctor’s visits on a yearly basis, stacking up their preventive visits at the end of the calendar year and looking to make the most of their benefits once they have met their deductible. However, health issues do not follow a calendar and can pop up at any moment.

Added hoops to jump through make it even harder for Americans to access care.

The potential mental and financial stress of paying for a healthcare service that isn’t covered is one thing, but sometimes it’s even more taxing to go through the process of figuring out what insurance will actually cover when paying for care. In fact, we found that over one-third of consumers find the stress of identifying what is covered under their employer’s health plan to be more stressful than their current job.

Many health plans require a referral from a primary care provider in order to be authorized to see a specialist and have that visit covered. However, 52% of consumers view the process of seeking a referral as an unnecessary hurdle delaying the care they need, and 65% of consumers experience any level of difficulty in receiving a referral to see a specialist for a treatment or procedure. Thankfully, with Comfort™, members don’t need a referral to see a specialist if they’re in network because specialist visits are fully covered.

The stress of putting off necessary healthcare services and procedures can have real, devastating effects on someone’s health, and can also impact other areas of their professional and personal life.

We found 59% of consumers 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 and more.  

Putting consumers in the driver’s seat to their healthy future

These results tell us people need a health plan that not only helps them afford care, but a health plan that they can love.

With Comfort, members can get peace of mind in knowing that 100% of most common healthcare services are covered. To reduce the burden of out-of-pocket costs when they do come up, there’s Gravie Pay™, an interest-free, pay-over-time option members can use to pay for healthcare expenses subject to their out-of-pocket responsibility. And a full suite of digital value-added programs through partners Sword, Teladoc Health and Peerfit allows members to tap into additional benefits that elevate their quality of care without the added cost.

Without the added stress of weighing the potential costs if they need to go to the doctor, employees are able to more easily focus on their personal and professional goals. And

when members feel empowered to access care, it prevents more costly and catastrophic medical issues from occurring down the line – a big win for employers too.

Learn more about what Gravie can do for employers’ and members’ wallets and health. Contact us.

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