Poll Finds Post-Virus PA Insurance Affordability Worry

By Emily Scott, Public News Service
for The Posts

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvanians are growing more concerned with the affordability of their health care, according to a new poll.

Of more than 600 registered state voters polled during July, 75 percent said the amount they pay for health care seems to increase each year. And after about 18 months of the pandemic, 65 percent said they are worried people diagnosed with COVID may have to pay higher amounts for their health care. The poll’s results were released Monday (Aug. 23, 2021).

Fred Yang, CEO of Hart Research Associates, said residents want the health-care system to work better for them, especially in the context of COVID-19.

“I think there’s recognition that we’re going to have to deal with a lot of after-effects of the pandemic, including people’s health,” Yang observed. “The people who contracted COVID-19 and are recovering, they’ll also have a further hit on their wallets,” he added.

About 58 percent of the Pennsylvanians polled said they’ve struggled to pay a medical bill, even if they had health insurance. The polling was done by Hart and ALG Research, on behalf of Consumers for Quality Care, a Virginia-based consumer healthcare advocacy organization.

A majority of Pennsylvanians don’t want a complete overhaul of the health-care system, according to the poll. Instead, they’re looking for specific solutions. Ninety-three percent said they want policy changes from Congress that lower deductibles and hold insurance companies accountable for selling plans that offer little coverage.

Jim Manley, Consumers for Quality Care board member, said voters want high-quality, affordable care and access to good health-care providers.

“What we’re seeing throughout this polling is, voters agree that the cost of health care continues to rise,” Manley explained. “They have serious concerns of out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, premiums and co-pays, when it comes to the biggest issues facing their future.”

Another priority the poll confirmed: voters want to see improvements to home- and community-based care for older adults and people with disabilities.

Photo from Adobe Stock, supplied by Public News Service and used under license