With the presidential candidates each making their arguments over what their plans are for health care, knowing what the future holds for the health care of consumers is difficult to predict. Along with the unknown future of our country’s leadership comes the overwhelming concern of healthcare costs that the consumer will have to pay for. For this very reason, the Affordable Care Act was born.
The Affordable Care Act
For over 50 years, patients have been displeased with the quality of care they have received, as well as the hefty costs they have had to pay out of pocket. The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in the driver’s seat of their own health care, providing more affordable care for the consumer, while also being easily accessible. When consumers are offered low cost, quality care, they are more inclined to get regular checkups and make sure their bodies are at their healthiest.
Since the Affordable Care Act became a law, healthcare price growth has slowed down. Medicare has paid $316 billion than it did in 2013 and the average premium for employer-based family coverage rose just 3 percent, which is miniscule compared to the double digit premium increases for the exact same cover 10 years ago. This law also provides coverage for the millions of Americans who were uninsured in the past 40 years. In fact, about 16.4 million uninsured people now have the coverage they need.
Increased Use of Technology in Healthcare
Living in a digitally advanced world has also put a greater emphasis on insurance and healthcare offerings that can be done on multiple devices. Consumers today, especially the younger ones, expect their healthcare providers to offer well-defined prices, a wide variety of products to choose from, and user-friendly interfaces. These consumers want to know what they are getting and what the cost is before they decide to make the purchase.
Consumers and Insurance Providers
This same rules holds true with the insurance providers consumers choose to do business with. One study conducted by Strategy& proved that consumers are not afraid to find insurance providers through different avenues, as long as their provider stays engaged with the consumer, provides choices, and gives the consumer an overall positive experience. This study also shows that 40 percent would trust a large retailer for health services and 38 percent would trust a digital company.
While young consumers or those with families are more inclined to stay loyal to an insurance provider that offers affordable rates, the portion of the population that are either elderly or wealthy are unmoved by price. The main driving force behind their decision is whether or not they are able to trust the advice of their insurance provider. If they trust the advice they are getting, this demographic group will be loyal consumers for years to come.
A majority of consumers have been unhappy with the current state of their healthcare for many years. Because of this, new entrants are making their way into the industry. Retail giants like Walmart and Target, as well as digital conglomerates like Google and Apple have become big competitors in the industry, shaking things up for current healthcare companies. According to Strategy&, consumers are not afraid to trust less traditional sources with their healthcare needs if their needs are not being met by their current provider.
Many consumers are willing to forgo their current health coverage and insurance provider if they are able to find one that is more affordable, while also offering high quality service for its customers. Although, healthcare changes are constantly taking place, the consumer is currently the decision-maker and has the ball in their court. Insurance and healthcare providers realize that the Marketplace is now much larger than it has been in past years, allowing consumers to have more choices.