Chronic Disease: Patients frustrated with insurance costs, barriers to treatment

Patients frustrated by rising insurance costs, barriers to accessing chronic disease treatments

Patients are concerned about the increasing costs of health insurance premiums and their ability to access treatments for chronic diseases. That’s according to a new survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

The top line numbers are astounding: 70% of patients report that they or someone they know have had difficulty using their health insurance coverage in the past year.

“This survey shines a light on the challenges consumers face when it comes to using their health care coverage,” said Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease Chairman Ken Thorpe, Ph.D. “Unfortunately, this survey finds patients are facing less coverage and higher costs than they expected, making access to care – especially for those with one or more chronic conditions – more difficult.”

The survey is notable for its size and thoroughness. While most polls survey a few hundred or thousand respondents, Morning Consult conducted more than 20,000 interviews.

“This unprecedented data collection project with the Partnership to Fight Chronic disease involves nearly 22,000 interviews nationally and allows for in-depth insights at the state level and across numerous disease groups,” said Kyle Dropp, Cofounder and Chief Research Officer at Morning Consult.

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease is an international coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and rising health care costs: chronic disease.

A Look at The Numbers

Cost of Chronic DiseaseThe Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease has assembled a helpful data page that details the findings from the national survey. Among the highlights:

  • 77% report that they or someone they know had trouble using their health insurance in the past year
  • 73% say it’s very important to have more transparency when it comes to costs at the hospital (top concern)
  • 43% say costs have increased in the past year
  • 27% say health insurance premiums are costs that impacted their family’s budget the most (top concern)
  • 19% say lowering co-pays/deductibles should be top priority to address health care costs

Check out the numbers for your state at the data page for the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

Patients say insurance companies make it difficult to access treatments

117 million patients in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have one or more chronic health condition.

And insurance companies aren’t making it easy for these patients to access the necessary treatments.

$42 Trillion: Total Cost of Chronic Disease over Next 14 years

Insurance barriers to treatment are short-sighted — and costly.

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease estimates that better treatment and prevention programs could save an estimated 1.1 million lives every year. Over the next 14 years, the projected total cost of chronic disease will reach $42 trillion. That’s an average of  $2 trillion in medical costs and another $794 billion in lost employee productivity per year.

In addition to ensuring that patients get the right treatment, right now, we need to continue to focus on innovation.

“Medical breakthroughs can and will transform lives and save health care costs over the next 15 years across the United States,” the organization says.

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