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Centivo survey reveals devastating toll of the healthcare affordability crisis on US workers 


Buffalo, NY, February 8, 2022– A recent Centivo survey of employees with employer-sponsored health insurance revealed that the healthcare affordability crisis is having a detrimental impact on overall financial wellbeing and behaviors. In fact, nearly three in five (59%) survey respondents say they had to make financial sacrifices due to significant medical expenses over the past two years. These findings come from the Centivo Healthcare and Financial Sacrifices Survey, 2021. Centivo conducted the survey in August 2021 among 805 US adults ages 18-64 with employer-sponsored private health insurance. 


The most common financial sacrifices made by respondents regarding household necessities included cutting back on groceries (51%) and utilities (22%). Alarmingly, one in ten report a significant medical expense has even caused them and their families to skip meals/go hungry (see Figure 1).  


Significant medical expenses also caused problematic behaviors among those making financial sacrifices, such as taking on credit card debt (60%), completely depleting savings (37%) and borrowing from retirement accounts (23%). 


“One of the root causes of the healthcare affordability crisis for US workers is the prevalence of sky-high deductibles,” said Ashok Subramanian, CEO, Centivo. “These high deductibles are often paired with low premiums that ‘make budgets work’ but are also a financial gamble that far too many workers are losing. It’s appalling that we’re seeing people who are insured through their employers withdraw money from their retirement accounts and even go hungry due to medical bills.” 


The problematic role of high deductibles is exemplified by the survey finding that more than half (54%) of insured workers with deductibles of $4,000 or more reported incurring a significant medical expense; far higher than lower deductible levels (see Figure 2). And emergency savings levels are insufficient; 43% of respondents with a deductible of $4,000 or more said they do not have the funds to cover that amount.  


“Employers and their advisors must factor in these downstream financial impacts when examining their health benefit strategies,” said Subramanian. “They should consider lowering or eliminating deductibles while at the same time elevating and emphasizing advanced primary care and all of its well-documented positive health and financial outcomes. These are practical, realistic steps employers can take in restoring healthcare affordability for workers and their families.” 


To receive a complimentary Executive Summary of the Centivo Healthcare and Financial Sacrifices Survey, 2021 please click here.  


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About the Centivo Healthcare and Financial Sacrifices Survey, 2021

Centivo engaged SSRS, a full-service survey and market research firm known for innovative methodologies and optimized research designs, to gain an understanding of the financial sacrifices people must make due to unexpected medical expenses. SSRS conducted the survey in August 11-24, 2021. Responses come from 805 US adults ages 18-64 who have maintained private employer-sponsored health insurance coverage for at least the past two years. Respondents were selected from the SSRS Opinion Panel, SSRS’s Probability-based panel sample, and completed via the web using a self-administered online survey. The margin of error is +/-4.5% for all 805 respondents, +/-8.2 for financial sacrifices made (254 respondents) and +/-10.7% for the questions related to specific financial sacrifices (149 respondents).  


About Centivo

Centivo is a new type of health plan anchored around leading providers of value-based care. Centivo saves self-funded employers 15 percent or more compared to traditional insurance carriers and is easy to use for employers and employees. Our mission is to bring affordable, high-quality healthcare to the millions of working Americans who struggle to pay their healthcare bills. With Centivo, employers can offer their employees affordable and predictable costs, a high-tech member experience, exceptional service, and a range of benefit options including both proprietary primary care-centered ACO models as well as traditional networks. For more information, visit centivo.com or follow us @Centivo on LinkedIn or @CentivoHealth on Twitter.


For media inquiries please contact bruce.lee@centivo.com.

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