WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (March 1, 2022) – For the most part, Americans say they are disappointed with health insurance, which is difficult to navigate and inaccessible. According to a new Ipsos / PhRMA survey, nearly 9 out of 10 Americans (86%) agree that Congress needs to focus on combating abuses of health insurance practices that make it difficult for people to receive the care they need. Sentiment is widely shared by both Democrats (92%) and Republicans (84%). Voters overwhelmingly support policies that will reduce own costs and lead to greater transparency and accountability of the health insurance system.
“It’s time to bring the patient’s perspective to the health care reform debate and focus on the immediate solutions that Americans value most,” said Debra DeShong, executive vice president of public affairs. “This includes ensuring that insurers provide more reliable health coverage, which helps patients receive the care they need and reduces the cost of medicines out of pocket. We are ready to do our part and remain committed to working with politicians to improve our healthcare system. “
Voters want Congress to pay attention to health insurance
According to an Ipsos / PhRMA study, Americans would like to see Congress focus more on reducing overall health care costs, such as premiums, deductions and co-payments (71%), than reducing the cost of prescription drugs (29%). . This extends across party lines; 73% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans would like Congress to focus on reducing total coverage costs.
Insurer barriers, costs, and lack of clarity create barriers to access for many Americans
- In the last year, 43% of people who take prescription drugs have faced at least one insurance barrier to their care. These experiences range from waiting for an insurer to approve a drug prescribed by a doctor (previous authorization) to an insurer requiring the patient to try another drug (first unsuccessful) or not covering a drug prescribed by a doctor at all (form restriction). This is in the context of 89% who say that taking their medication helps them stay healthy.
- More than two in five (43%) Americans report having difficulty understanding or navigating their health insurance.
- Another in three (31%) avoids going to the doctor because of the cost, and 21% say they cannot afford to go to the doctor if they need care.
Abuses in insurance practices are of deep concern to voters; They want insurers held accountable
- Strong majorities agree that the public should be aware of health insurance companies that have evidence of disproportionate denial of claims to a group of people or patients with a particular disease (83%).
- 77% of voters agree that health insurers should make public how often they refuse doctor-recommended care, and 74% of voters believe that health insurers should be obliged to share the savings they negotiate.
- People with insurance are more likely to agree with these statements than those who are not insured or do not know their insurance status.
Voters give priority to legislation that addresses insurance costs and barriers
- 82% agree that reducing its own health care costs should be a top priority for Washington.
- When forced to prioritize only two policies, Americans see that the most positive impact comes from policies that set a ceiling on the amount that health insurers can get patients to pay for their deductions, co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses ( 33%), giving insurers more incentives to keep health plan costs manageable for people who are sick and taking prescription drugs (17%) and require health insurance companies to be more transparent about what drugs are covered and what patients will pay for. out of pocket for prescription drugs (16%).
The study strengthens support for the patient-centered PhRMA agenda and sound solutions that would make the health system more accessible.
The survey was conducted among 2,510 adult Americans using the Ipsos gold standard based on KnowledgePanel probabilities® representative of the American public. The margin of error of the sample is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points at 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
For more details on the Ipsos / PhRMA survey, click here.