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For almost a decade now we’ve explored new and emerging subjects on the minds of consumers to help guide employers to effective action and achieve greater outcomes for people and their organizations. We also revisit some of the same topics each year to uncover trends and chart progress (or lack thereof).
This year, in our eighth annual Consumer Health Mindset® Study, we discovered that although consumers are more engaged in their health care decisions than they have been in the past, they are still confused about health insurance and on whether or not they're making the right decisions.
The lens on wellbeing is widening. The importance of financial wellbeing is up five points since previous years, and is on par with emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.
Accountability ticks up. In 2016 we started asking people about their specific health care habits. What we’ve learned along the way is that consumers who are personally accountable for their health are more likely to:
Seek. Research health topics and health plan features and use available tools.
Engage. Ask good questions and challenge direction.
Compare. Carefully look at their options and choose well.
Choose. Regularly strive to take care of themselves through a balanced diet, exercise, adequate sleep and positive social connections.
Health insurance savvy is mediocre. And consumers are confused. Less than one in four consumers correctly answered nine or 10 health care insurance-related questions correctly (our measure for high health insurance literacy). And just slightly more than one in five consumers correctly answered five or fewer questions correctly (our measure for low health literacy).
Tension mounts between personalization and privacy. It’s no surprise that the tool or information ranked at the top of the most-helpful list for consumers is personalized wellness information—a result that is consistent across generations. However, when we dig a bit deeper, only 34% say they want personalized health communication when confronted with the potential data sources, not certain if “it’s worth the risk”.