Oscar Health: State of the economy is top concern for consumer health - MedCity News

As the world enters a possible recessionconsumers are concerned about what this could mean for their personal health, new research shows.

About 93 percent of respondents are “extremely,” “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the state of the economy, the survey by insurer Oscar Health found. Another 44% of respondents cited the economy as their primary health care concern.

The report, published this month, was produced online in partnership with Morning Consult. It received responses from 1,000 people, including Medicare, Medicaid and ACA beneficiaries.

The state of the economy trumped other current health care crises, the study found. About 25% of respondents cited the Covid-19 pandemic and other viruses such as monkeypox as their top concern when it comes to their personal health. After that, 11% said lack of basic products, 10% said political environment, 8% said economic equality and 3% said racial equality.

Additionally, four out of five respondents who say they expect their health care costs to increase in the next year say it will be because of higher costs, the Oscar Health survey found.

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 on January 15 for most states. More than a quarter of those surveyed said they would consider a new brand of health insurance. Of the respondents who were uninsured, about half said they were considering signing up for health insurance coverage. Other actions consumers are considering include changing jobs for better health insurance, moving for better health insurance, and giving up dental or vision insurance.

Changes in the economy will require adjustments from the healthcare industry, said Jackie Kahn, Oscar Health’s chief communications officer.

“The U.S. health care system continues to move toward a consumer-centric 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 expect a change in health care use, the survey found. For example, most respondents said they expect to continue using primary care services, specialty care services, vaccines, preventive care, prescriptions, and routine medical exams.

Still, Americans will need support during these economic challenges.

“As Americans recover from the effects of a multi-year pandemic combined with an increasingly uncertain financial landscape, the availability of reliable health care is at a critical juncture,” Oscar Health said in a press release.

Photo: Barris Ozer, Getty Images

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