U.S. Consumers Value Healthcare Affordability, but Not Willing to Make Tradeoffs that Impact Healthcare Costs, Says Accenture

  U.S. Consumers Value Healthcare Affordability, but Not Willing to Make
  Tradeoffs that Impact Healthcare Costs, Says Accenture Survey

Business Wire

ARLINGTON, Va. -- November 27, 2012

The majority of U.S. consumers (72 percent) who plan to join insurance
exchanges said affordability is the top driver of their healthcare decisions,
but only a small portion (30 percent) are willing tochange doctors or
healthcare settings to reduce costs, according to a new survey of 3,209 people
by Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

“Our research is particularly timely due to the increasing number of
individually insured people who will join public- and private- health
insurance exchanges,” said Mark Knickrehm, who leads Accenture’s global health
business.“Under most health plans today, however, the benefit from consumers
making cost-saving changes goes primarily to the insurer or employer. To help
consumers makesmart, cost-effective care decisions, insurers must incent
consumers and clearly communicate the direct benefits by engaging them in ways
that are relevant to them.”

As the post-reform marketplace expands to 51 million individually insured
consumers, Accenture found that health insurers will need to further
differentiate their services and engage new customers – a task that could
prove quite challenging considering consumer preferences for lower healthcare
costs with little tradeoffs.

According to Accenture, while healthcare consumers seek low out-of-pocket
healthcare costs, fewer than 20 percent of those surveyed understand the cost
of their care in advance or feel they should track and budget healthcare
expenses.

Other findings of consumers joining insurance exchanges:

  *Less than half of consumers are willing to change to generic prescriptions
    (43 percent); use a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor for routine
    visits (41 percent) or change their primary care doctor (23 percent).
  *Although 81 percent of subsidy eligible healthcare consumers report they
    want guidance to improve their health, 40 percent of these same consumers
    don’t identify going to the doctor for regular checkups as a priority.
  *Only one out of the four consumers surveyed trust insurers to provide
    guidance on improving their health.

Methodology: 2012 Accenture Healthcare Consumer Survey

Accenture conducted an online survey of 3,209 individuals over 18 years of age
in the United States. Insured members included Medicare, Medicaid, Group
(defined benefit and defined contribution), Individual (purchased directly
through insurer and purchased through broker), Uninsured Consumers (subsidy
and non-subsidy eligible individuals) and small group of decision makers. The
survey was conducted in June 2012. The analysis included advanced analytics to
develop healthcare consumer segments that transcend traditional market/product
segments.

Learn more aboutAccenture’s Insight Driven Health.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and
outsourcing company, with 257,000 people serving clients in more than 120
countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities
across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the
world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help
them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated
net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its
home page is www.accenture.com.

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Contact:

Accenture
Jennifer Francis, + 630 338 6426
jennifer.francis@accenture.com
 
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