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As 2022 rapidly draws to a close, fresh consumer insights shed light on how consumers are feeling about healthcare costs. The new data, fielded by Ribnik Research in August 2022, reveals:

  • People are stressed about healthcare costs: more than 70% of people age 25–44 report at least moderate stress over healthcare costs in their daily lives
  • Care is being avoided: 59% of those age 25-34 and 57% of 35-44 year-olds have avoided care because they were unsure of costs
  • People are searching for costs, but not finding what they need: 73% of the people who avoided care, actually searched for cost information and many are turning to their health plan.

These insights bolster the argument for price transparency initiatives, but also highlight that the mandates alone are not enough to truly help members through the costly, and stressful healthcare experience.

What can health plans do to bridge the gap between education, understanding and the price transparency solutions? There are two big areas to dig into as we near the January deadline:

Above all, raise awareness

Many health plan members have no idea they have access to cost estimation tools from their health insurance plan. In fact, 2 in 3 people don’t recall ever being told about these resources, but most (67%) list this as one of the top five most important resources their health plan can provide.

Consumers are demanding price transparency, and now you will have solutions that deliver. But without education and creating awareness, your members will not engage with the new or improved solutions. You can dig more into messaging and communications tactics in this member marketing guide.

Deliver more than just cost to members

As the data shows, cost information alone (even if marketed well) isn’t enough to help members navigate care or make confident healthcare choices. 56% of consumers surveyed say they ​​need more help understanding and navigating healthcare options. Close the loop by offering appointment scheduling or telehealth and you’ve created an amazing end-to-end member experience from cost research to accessing care.

Build cost search behaviors by maximizing mandate deadlines

While there are still gaps to fill when it comes to helping members navigate healthcare and fully realize the promise of price transparency, new deadlines give fresh energy to engaging members. Lean into the coverage that the 1/1/23 federal price transparency mandate will bring. Create broad member campaigns about the cost tools available and provide education throughout your member touch points about how to use them. We are less than two months away from the deadline, begin leveraging open enrollment and the rest of the year to get the conversation started with members.

Download the e-book to see a summary of this research.