Filed Under:Markets, Employee Benefits

Consultants: Health Consumers Put Less Weight on Cost

Consumers say cost affects health care purchases less than it affects some other types of purchases.
Consumers say cost affects health care purchases less than it affects some other types of purchases.

Consumers say they are far less likely to put cost first when they are buying health care than when they are buying several other types of goods and services.

Consumers say are somewhat likely to put cost first when they are buying health insurance.

Consultants at a health data arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P., New York, included those findings today in a summary of results from a survey of about 6,000 U.S. adults.

The company had a polling firm ask participants about their views on the customer experience that consumers encounter when shopping at retail stores and buying services such as hotel stays and airline travel.

The polling firm asked separate questions about purchases of health care and health insurance.

Only 8% of the participants said they put cost first when buying health care, and participants were much less likely to say they put the cost of health care first than they were to say they emphasize cost when shopping for other goods and services.

But 50% of the participants said they put cost first when shopping for health insurance.

For other services included in the survey, "cost comes first" rates ranged from 22% for business hotel services to 69% for leisure airline travel.

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