Study: Coloradans Fear Cost of Medical Care More Than They Fear Getting Sick or Injured
Colorado HealthOP Releases Research Confirming Need to Get Covered Before March 31 Deadline
DENVER, CO -- Coloradans fear the costs of medical care more than they fear illness or injury, according to new research commissioned by Colorado HealthOP, Colorado's first statewide nonprofit health insurance cooperative. The CO-OP commissioned the survey to better understand the beliefs and behaviors of Colorado healthcare consumers.
"Getting health insurance is the first step in reducing the fear of high healthcare costs," said Julia Hutchins, chief executive officer of Colorado HealthOP. "Coloradans have less than a week left to get covered and protect their financial well-being."
Coloradans who do not enroll in a health insurance plan by March 31, 2014, may have to wait until January 2015 to get covered.
In the survey, 625 Coloradans were interviewed about their healthcare experiences, beliefs and behaviors. Research highlights include:
1. Coloradans have avoided medical care because of the cost. More than half (54 percent) of Coloradans have not gone to the doctor because of the cost. Nearly half (45 percent) have not purchased a medicine their doctor prescribed because of the cost.
2. Coloradans fear the cost of being sick more than they fear being sick. Only 15 percent of Coloradans rated their fear of being sick as a 4 or 5, with 5 being "extremely fearful." Nearly three times as many (42 percent) rated their fear of the cost of being sick as a 4 or 5.
3. Coloradans fear the cost of injuring themselves more than they fear injury itself. Only 35 percent of Coloradans rated their fear of injuring themselves as a 4 or 5, with 5 being "extremely fearful." Nearly twice as many (62 percent) rated their fear of the cost of injuring themselves as a 4 or 5.
"Even if you have health insurance, it is important to educate yourself about the costs of your healthcare needs," said Hutchins. "At Colorado HealthOP, we help our members understand their true costs and empower them to make decisions to reduce expenses."
Colorado HealthOP provides tools to help its members reduce their healthcare costs. To help its members compare costs prior to seeking medical care, the CO-OP partners with Healthcare Bluebook to provide pricing and quality ratings for local providers of surgery, medical tests and other common procedures. Members in many Colorado HealthOP plans also receive financial rewards, such as money on a debit card and reduced out-of-pocket costs for doctors' visits, when they take specific health actions.
For more information about Colorado HealthOP or to enroll in a Colorado HealthOP plan, please visit www.COHealthOP.org.
About Colorado HealthOP
Colorado HealthOP offers a new alternative to traditional health insurance in Colorado. A nonprofit health insurance cooperative, Colorado HealthOP and its members are committed to providing affordable, quality coverage to individuals and employers interested in making a difference in their own health, their employees' health and the health of their community. Colorado HealthOP aims to improve health outcomes by putting the responsibility for consumers' care back into the hands of the cooperative's members and providers. A private market solution tailored for individuals and employers, Colorado HealthOP began open enrollment in October 2013 via Connect for Health Colorado, Colorado's health insurance marketplace, and through independent brokers and agents. For more information about Colorado HealthOP, please visit www.COHealthOP.org or call 720.627.8900.
About the Survey
Resolution Research, a Denver-based market research firm, conducted this survey of Colorado residents via online survey. Colorado residents over the age of 18 were invited to participate via Resolution's proprietary online panel. For more information about the panel, please contact Resolution Research at 303.830.2345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Anna Beaty anna.beaty@COHealthOP.org 720.357.2203