Latest DSS Research Survey Reveals That Consumers Are Torn Between Access and Coverage

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 Health Insurance News
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FORT WORTH, Texas, March 29 DSS Research, the leader in market research for the health insurance industry, developed a proprietary set of metrics that gauge the level of engagement in health care on the part of the consumer. This quarter we also added questions based on the current health care crisis.

In the most recent survey, Americans were given a choice between making their first priority providing some level of health insurance coverage for all citizens or slowing down the rapidly rising costs of health care. There is no clear cut winner between either of these important strategies for addressing the health care crises with 50.7% preferring universal coverage and 49.3% preferring slowing down rising costs. However, there are some differences in attitudes depending upon which group of Americans you talk to. The uninsured, least educated and lowest income households prefer focusing on health insurance coverage for all citizens while the better educated, higher income and oldest households say bending the cost curve should be the first priority.

Results differ based on level of engagement in health care based on the DSS Health Care Engagement Index(TM). The most engaged and least engaged consumers favor providing coverage for all citizens. Those with more moderate levels of health care engagement favor slowing the rise in health care costs as the first order of business.

Three options to solve the health care crisis stand out from the rest

We asked 1,021 US consumers which of nine practical solutions they prefer lawmakers in Washington consider to solve rising health care costs and declining access to health insurance. Thirty-five percent of Americans surveyed said that offering tax breaks and incentives to make health insurance more affordable is their first choice to address the growing problems around health care. Nearly two-thirds of consumers named this as their first or second choice.

Nearly 29% would prefer the Federal government create a health insurance plan that competes on a level playing field with private health insurers. Consumers 18 to 30 years of age are almost twice as likely as seniors (those 65 and older) to believe a government run health plan should be the first or second priority of Congress. The 18 to 30 year olds are the only group of Americans more likely to select a government run health plan over tax breaks and incentives.

Only 18% of consumers believe the first priority of lawmakers should be to reduce state and Federal regulations regarding health insurance and place caps on medical malpractice suits. Almost half of seniors ranked this option as their first or second choice, choosing it much more often than younger Americans.

About DSS Research

DSS Research is a national marketing research firm specializing in health care. Over the past 27 years, DSS has conducted research and provided insight for health insurance organizations, hospitals and other health care providers across the country. The firm's services include product development services, satisfaction research, brand analysis and strategy research, ad testing and tracking, market segmentation research and health risk assessment, giving DSS a high-level view of the evolving health insurance business. DSS employs more than 200 health care market research specialists.

(TM) DSS Health Care Engagement Index is a trademark of Decision Support Systems, LP.

First Top 5 Responses First or Choice Second Choice Offer tax breaks and incentives to make health insurance more affordable for individuals 35.2% 64.6% Create a health insurance plan administered by the Federal government to compete on a level playing field with private insurers 28.6% 48.6% Reduce state and Federal regulations regarding health insurance and place caps on medical malpractice suits 17.5% 33.5% Restrict access to unproven medical treatments and prescriptions until medical studies prove their effectiveness 4.0% 12.4% Reduce Medicare and Medicaid payments to physicians by $400 million 4.8% 12.3%


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