Frustration with the high cost of healthcare isn’t just a Jersey problem.
Most Americans continue to see healthcare costs in the U.S. as a major issue, with only one in five satisfied with the total cost, according to a recent Gallup poll. This trend appears to be increasing Americans’ concern about access to healthcare.
“Americans are most likely to identify cost and access to healthcare when asked to name the most urgent health problem facing the country,” Gallup says. “One in four Americans mentioned an issue related to the cost of healthcare in the latest survey, while nearly as many, 22 percent mentioned something related to healthcare access.”
While these two issues have topped the list each year since 2003, the high ranking of cost and access reflects a shift in Americans’ concerns about health in the U.S. from years earlier when specific diseases or health threats topped the list.
In New Jersey, the relationship between cost and access was reflected in NJBIA’s 2018 Health Benefits Survey. While overall New Jersey employers have a strong commitment to providing health benefits, the percentage of companies offering them had drop from 85 percent in 2016 to 78 percent.
At the same time, 40 percent of the companies that offer coverage said they took a lower profit or suffered a loss in order to continue providing health benefits – compared to 33 percent in 2016. Another 27 percent froze or limited wage increases and 21 percent delayed or reduced business investments to maintain their coverage.