Healthcare more important to Americans than salary

July 29, 2019

Creators of the modern Health Savings Account (HSA), announced the results of its inaugural Wellness & Wealth survey. The study, conducted by CITE Research on behalf of Lively, surveyed Americans on how their finances impact their healthcare decisions.

As medical costs rise, individuals and families across America are making financial decisions that directly impact their physical health: from choosing a health insurance plan, to postponing a doctor’s visit, to foregoing a recommended medical treatment. These costs are projected to rise over the next decade, with national health spending growing “at an average rate of 5.5 percent per year from 2018-2027 and to reach nearly $6.0 trillion by 2027,” according to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The results of this study capture how Americans make crucial healthcare decisions based on their personal finances and their ability to pay for health-related expenses, such as insurance coverage and doctor visits.

Key findings of the Wellness & Wealth: Insights for Employers Report show:

·   Healthcare coverage is by far the most important employee benefit when it comes to choosing or staying with an employer.

·   Out of 11 popular employee benefits, including competitive salary and 401(k), almost 40 percent of employees chose healthcare as the most important benefit when thinking of switching jobs or staying at a job.

·   The majority of Americans (76 percent) rank healthcare in their top three priorities when considering workplace benefits.

·   Only half of adults go to the doctor regularly or preventatively.

·   As U.S. adults get older they are more likely to go to a doctor regularly or preventatively – and conversely, younger adults are more likely to only go to a doctor when something catastrophic happens.

·   Men, married people, and wealthier consumers are more likely to see a doctor preventatively, while people with children are more likely to only go to the doctor when they are sick.

·   Medical and healthcare costs come as a surprise to a large portion of employees.

·   Three in four Americans are surprised by how high their medical bills are when they receive them.

·   One in three employees are unsure how much of their paycheck goes to healthcare costs (including health insurance and out-of-pocket costs).

·   Employees have a mixed understanding of their employer benefits and understanding decreases with younger generations.

·   While close to a third of people surveyed do not have health benefits through an employer, the majority of those who do say they understand their benefits.