WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alegeus, the market leader in consumer-directed healthcare (CDH) solutions, today unveiled its 2019 Healthcare Consumerism Index, an industry standard for measuring the degree of engagement and consumerism exhibited during healthcare spending and saving decisions, as well as the industry’s progress in empowering consumers to take greater ownership of their healthcare finances. Based on a survey of more than 1,400 U.S. healthcare consumers, the 2019 Alegeus Consumerism Index evaluated two main categories of consumer behaviors: 1) the level of consideration placed on cost and value, and 2) the degree of discipline shown during planning and saving for healthcare costs.
To calculate results, consumers self-assessed their behaviors and opinions on a range of both healthcare and non-healthcare related spending and saving decisions, with these results then tabulated into a 0-100 point score reflecting their overall degree of consumerism. This year’s survey resulted in a Healthcare Spending Index of 57.9 and revealed that consumers care most about overall value from healthcare dollars, not just reducing costs. Furthermore, results suggest that as the paradigm shifts and consumers have more responsibility for their healthcare costs, they are taking an increasingly engaged and active role in seeking that value:
- 70% of consumers are very focused on getting the best value for their healthcare dollars
- 61% of consumers research physician and facility ratings and treatment information
- 71% of consumers research symptom, condition or treatment information
However, while engagement is improving, consumerism scores related to everyday spending decisions remained higher, with choices such as buying a TV (69.8) or buying a new car (69.0) outpacing the spending index for healthcare and indicating the need for continued education and resources.
Consumers surveyed also assessed their attitudes and behaviors towards saving for various long-term costs, including emergency funds, retirement and, of course, healthcare. The 2019 Healthcare Saving Index rose by 13% percent to 29.2 and signals an important, but likely overly optimistic, propensity in consumers to plan and save for their healthcare now and into the future.
More than one third (38%) of consumers said they currently make contributions towards healthcare savings each month with the majority (33%) claiming to save aggressively. In addition, the report found:
- 44% of consumers claimed to understand what their long-term healthcare expenses will be in retirement
- 41% of consumers said they were confident they are saving at an appropriate rate to cover their long-term healthcare needs
- 35% of consumers claimed to be investing their healthcare savings in stocks, bonds, and/or mutual funds for growth
"Our 2019 Alegeus Consumerism Index reveals some very encouraging data that suggests consumer engagement is moving in the right direction, which is critical to ensure all Americans get the greatest value out of their healthcare dollars,” said Steven Auerbach, CEO, Alegeus. “That being said, our mission to educate consumers of the financial benefits of options like health saving accounts (HSAs) is far from over. At Alegeus, we’re committed to providing the continued education and resources that guide consumers to take control of their healthcare finances.”
The 2019 Alegeus Consumerism Index comes in the midst of a month-long celebration by the company highlighting the benefits of HSAs. The initiative is dedicated to bringing public awareness around the power of these accounts and their ability to empower consumers to take control of their healthcare spending and saving. The celebration is anchored by the launch of consumer education site www.wealthcare.com, and additional highlights include: a charity campaign to benefit the United Way, with every use of #HSAsHelp on Twitter resulting in $1 being donated to the organization; an industry TweetChat held on October 15 at 1pm ET moderated by @Alegeus on Twitter with the hashtag #HSAsHelpChat; and a Twitter LiveCast with Alegeus and Reuters financial journalist Caroline Woods on October 16, at 2pm ET, broadcast from the @ReutersPlus handle.
For more information, click here to download the full report, and follow along with the conversation at #HSAsHelp on Twitter.
Alegeus is the market leader in consumer directed healthcare solutions, offering the industry’s most comprehensive platform for the administration of healthcare benefit accounts (including FSAs, HSAs, HRAs, wellness incentive, dependent care, and commuter accounts), the industry’s most widely-used benefit debit card, and powerful engagement solutions to help consumers maximize savings and optimize spending for their healthcare. Over 350 clients – including health insurance plans and third party administrators – leverage Alegeus’ deep expertise and proven technology to administer benefit accounts for more than 30 million members and process more than $9.1 billion in consumer healthcare payments annually. As the healthcare and benefit markets continue to evolve, Alegeus delivers solutions that enable clients to evolve their service offerings, operate their businesses more efficiently, and focus on their customers. The company is headquartered in Waltham, MA with operations in Orlando, FL and Milwaukee, WI.