June 26, 2014:
More than half of California residents are surprised by the cost of the medical services they receive, according to a new survey by TransUnion Healthcare, Payers & Providers reports.
Details of Survey
For the survey, researchers polled 7,407 representative residents from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Of those surveyed:
• About 50% had employer-sponsored health coverage;
• 18% were Medicare beneficiaries;
• 12% had individual coverage;
• 9% were Medicaid beneficiaries; and
• 4% had military or Veterans Health Administration coverage.
Findings of Survey
Overall, 80% of respondents wanted cost estimates for the health care services they used — nearly the same percentage who wanted to receive prompt test results and accurate diagnoses. Meanwhile, 63% wanted to know the full cost of their care and 37% wanted to know what their out-of-pocket costs would be.
Despite those desires, more than half of respondents said they were confused about their medical bills. In addition:
• 62% said they were surprised by their out-of-pocket costs; and
• Only 25% were offered cost estimates before receiving care (Shinkman, Payers & Providers, 6/25).
In California, 57% of residents surveyed said their medical bills were surprising and just 28% said they had received a cost estimate before undergoing care (Payers & Providers, 6/25).
However, about 48% of respondents in California said it was easy to find cost information before undergoing treatment (TransUnion Healthcare survey, June 2014).