Survey shows out-of-pocket costs top health care concern for voters

Holly Campbell
Holly Campbell October 2, 2019

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A recent national survey of 800 registered voters conducted by Public Opinion Strategies shows that health insurance premiums, deductibles and copays are the top health care concerns for Americans. In addition, a majority of respondents say they would prefer to pay a higher monthly premium in exchange for lower out-of-pocket costs. Americans support efforts that improve predictability in their out-of-pocket costs, ensure that insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) pass along negotiated discounts directly to patients at the pharmacy counter, and get generic medicines to market faster. There is substantially less voter support for dangerous importation schemes or policies that allow the federal government to set the price of medicines in Medicare based on the prices of medicines in other countries.

Here are five key findings from the data:

  1. Health insurance costs top Americans’ concerns about health care. Americans are most concerned about what they pay out-of-pocket, including their co-pays and deductibles.

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  2. More than half of voters would prefer a higher monthly premium paired with lower copays and deductibles. The desire for lower out-of-pocket costs in exchange for higher monthly premiums was even higher among Medicare beneficiaries.

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  3. The two policy proposals that garner the most support among voters are more transparency on hospital costs and requiring insurance companies to share discounts on medicines directly with patients at the pharmacy counter.

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  4. Allowing the government to set the price of prescription medicines in Medicare and allowing patients and pharmacies to import non-FDA approved drugs from other countries have the least amount of support among.

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  5. A large majority of voters support requiring insurance companies to share negotiated discounts and rebates with patients directly at the pharmacy counter. And prior research conducted by Morning Consult shows that a majority of voters would still support this policy proposal even if it meant higher premiums.

    76 percent of voters support sharing savings and rebates at pharmacy counter


Learn more at LetsTalkAboutCost.org.



*Public Opinion Strategies conducted a national telephone survey on behalf of PhRMA. The survey was conducted between April 30 – May 5, 2019, among N=800 registered voters. Margin of error for N=800 is +3.46%.

Topics: Drug Cost, Out-of-Pocket Costs, Let's Talk About Cost