SOURCE: Sterling Healthworks

Sterling Healthworks

January 14, 2014 09:00 ET

Sterling Healthworks Survey Reveals Obamacare Changes Miss the Mark on Addressing Consumer Concerns

Survey Shows Consumers Have Moved Past Cost Concerns and Have Clear Suggestions for Improving Healthcare Reform

WOODBURY, NY--(Marketwired - Jan 14, 2014) - Americans, especially Millennials and consumers over the age of 55, are less concerned about costs of care and more concerned about keeping their doctors and hospitals, having access to a wider range of health plans, and having more pricing transparency, according to a new survey conducted by Sterling Healthworks, the online destination for identifying health care costs and finding a healthcare plan. The nationwide survey of over 4,200 Americans revealed that changes in both the website and leadership aren't enough to increase the faith in the new government health plans for Americans.

A majority of respondents, 59%, say their faith in the Affordable Care Act has not increased in the past month. Additional results of the survey include:

  • When it comes to changes consumers want to see in healthcare reform, over 29% of Millennials, ages 18-34, say they want to see a wider range of health plans for all needs, while respondents age 55 and up prioritize keeping their doctors and hospitals.
  • Twice as many women ages 25-34 want to see a wider range of health plans for all needs as compared to their male counterparts.
  • While costs may no longer be the primary concern, four times as many respondents predict that their coverage costs will increase this year than those who believe they will see a decrease in costs.
  • Among respondents in rural areas, 41% expect their plans to be more expensive in 2014 than they were in 2013. That's compared to less than a fourth of urban-based respondents who expect to see their healthcare coverage costs rise.
  • 26% of Millennial respondents say their faith in the Affordable Care Act over the past month has increased; less than a fifth of respondents 55 and up expressed increased faith.

"Many consumers signed up for the least expensive bronze plans and will face very high out of pocket expenses and limited choice of doctors in these plans," said David Sterling, Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Healthworks. "As we're hearing from consumers, we've got some work to do as a country to make healthcare reform work for all Americans. Healthcare reform should be a unifying force in America, creating a sense of stability for families and individuals so they don't have to worry about healthcare coverage."

"People are looking for greater pricing transparency, and want the best coverage they can get for their dollar," said Mark Argosh, managing partner, Sterling Healthworks. "Millennials made it clear in our survey that they want more healthcare plan options to choose from. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, who may have more specialist needs, want to keep their existing doctors and hospitals. These are consumers' concerns; this is what we need to address next in healthcare reform."

In the meantime, tools like Sterling Healthworks act as the missing link for many consumers by providing digestible information and an easy-to-use calculator to quickly estimate healthcare costs and sign up for insurance. The platform, which was launched by the top 40 insurance broker SterlingRisk, enables consumers to compare healthcare plans, easily estimate costs and premiums, and much more. The company also launched HealthMarket, a free mobile app featuring an on-the-go version of the resources and calculator.

Visit www.sterlinghealthworks.com or download the mobile app, available on iOS and Android, for more information, to test out the health costs calculator, or ask an advisor specific healthcare questions.

About Sterling Healthworks
Sterling Healthworks is the one-stop destination for healthcare reform. Launched by the top insurance broker SterlingRisk, Sterling Healthworks serves as a resource for individuals, families, and businesses looking to navigate the challenges of the Affordable Care Act. The website provides resources and powerful tools to help consumers manage health care decisions, including options for health insurance coverage. The site's mobile app is available on iOS and Android. For more information, visit www.sterlinghealthworks.com.

About SterlingRisk
Founded in 1932, SterlingRisk employs more than 210 highly skilled insurance professionals, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Utah, and California. Ranked in the nation's top 40 independently owned insurance brokerages, SterlingRisk services regional, national, and international clients. The company specializes in multiple areas, including property and casualty insurance, aviation, employee benefits consulting, risk management, loss control, claims management, estate planning, and business succession planning. For more information, visit www.sterlingrisk.com.

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