Health Beat: Millennials delaying healthcare treatment due to costs

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 118 views 

Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Health Beat,” a round-up of health-related topics.
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MANY MILLENNIALS DELAYING HEALTHCARE TREATMENT DUE TO COSTS
New consumer healthcare research released by Xerox shows Millennials (Gen Y, ages 18–34) are the most cost-conscious generation when it comes to healthcare – with the majority of respondents in a recent survey listing cost as a top consideration when selecting a healthcare provider and 50% even delaying treatment due to cost. The study, conducted by Y&R’s BAV Consulting on behalf of Xerox, surveyed 761 U.S. adults who purchase health insurance and are healthcare decision makers for their households.

The research also examined what consumers need from their healthcare providers to make living a healthier lifestyle a priority – finding that Millennials need the most help (64%), followed by Gen Xers at 56%, the Greatest Generation at 49% and Boomers at 47%. More information on the research can be found in the full report, “A Huge Transition for Healthcare.”

HHS LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO SPUR INNOVATION FOR MARKET-READY HEALTH TECHNOLOGY APPS
The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has announced a three-part strategy to spur the development of market-ready, user-friendly software applications (apps) for consumers and health care providers.

While increased adoption of health information technology (health IT) has generated significant amounts of computable, electronic health information, technology that can pull information from different sources and present it in a user-friendly way is limited. HHS’s new strategy is designed to foster private sector innovation to help make health information available in user-friendly formats to enable consumers and providers to easily and securely access and share electronic health information. To learn more, click here.

EMPLOYERS SHIFTING LARGER SHARE OF COST TO WORKFORCE
Despite the recent postponement of the Cadillac tax to 2020, organizations are implementing plan design strategies and innovations at a rapid rate in order to control rising costs now, according to the 2016 Medical Plan Trends and Observations Report released by DirectPath and CEB. The report, which analyzed more than 750 employee benefit health plans, highlights the top ten trends in employers’ 2016 health care strategies and notes year-over-year shifts.

Overwhelmingly, the report found that employers are continuing to shift a larger share of the cost to employees, often through implementing high deductible health plans (HDHPs). Deductibles for individual and family coverage continue to rise, regardless of plan type; 28% of organizations now offer HDHPs for both individual and family care, an increase from last year. Average in-network individual deductibles increased by 40% and family deductibles by 17% compared to 2015.