|New Jersey – A new survey of New Jersey voters from Impact Research and Expedition Strategies, on behalf of Consumers for Quality Care (CQC), reveals voters see high out-of-pocket costs as the biggest issue in the state’s health care system. New Jerseyans are ready to support politicians who make lowering out-of-pocket costs a priority. Read more about the survey here.
“New Jerseyans are tired of insurers taking advantage of consumers with rising deductibles, premiums, and other out-of-pocket costs, and not covering important care, such as mental health,” said the Hon. Donna Christensen, CQC board member, physician, and former Member of Congress. “New Jersey families shouldn’t have to avoid seeking health care out of fear that unpredictable out-of-pocket costs will drive them into debt. It’s time for insurance to act like insurance and for our lawmakers to prioritize lowering costs and improving access to quality care.”
New Jersey voters’ number one concern when it comes to health care is that out-of-pocket costs are too high, and monthly premiums are the costs that people struggle with the most, followed by deductibles. Ninety percent of New Jersey voters believe it is more important now than ever that insurance cover mental health care, but more than half (58%) think it is difficult to find mental health providers that are affordable or covered by insurance.
Research highlights include:
· Voters unanimously agree (90%) that it’s more important than ever that insurance companies cover mental healthcare
· 58% of voters agree it’s difficult to find mental health providers that are covered by insurance
· 39% think the greatest barrier keeping people from accessing mental health care is that they are not all covered by insurance
· 78% agree that the costs of health care are going up more than other things they need
· By more than a 3-to-1 margin, voters’ main concern in health care is that out-of-pocket costs are too high (38%)
· A large majority (85%) think there are problems with the state’s health care
· Monthly premiums are the biggest specific pain point when it comes to cost (36%), especially for those with private insurance (38%)
· Nearly half of voters (47%) have either had their household finances seriously affected by medical debt or are close with someone who has. An astounding 68% either have or know someone who has had a medical bill go to collections
· Half of voters reported delaying going to the doctor because of affordability concerns
New Jerseyans want their elected officials to take action to lower out-of-pocket health care costs. More than 8-in-10 voters (81%) say they are more likely to support a candidate who makes reducing health care costs their top priority, including strong majorities of persuadable voters (80%) and Independents (82%). A majority in New Jersey say they are more inclined to support a candidate who is focused on reducing out-of-pocket costs and premiums (52% choose this candidate) than one who is focused on “fundamentally” changing health care by switching to a government run system (38% prefer this type of candidate).
When it comes to lowering health care costs, New Jersey voters think the following measures would be effective:
· Capping insurance deductibles at a level that is low enough that people don’t go into debt when getting the health care they need (73%)
· Capping the amount health insurers can charge patients overall (73%)
· Requiring health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to pass the rebates or discounts they receive from drug companies on to patients (76%)
“Amid rising inflation, New Jersey voters want protection against high out-of-pocket health care costs and they indicate they are willing to support candidates who make that a priority,” said Pete Brodnitz, Founder and President of Expedition Strategies. “Measures to cap the amount insurers can charge overall and capping deductibles are measures most New Jersey voters indicate will help to control out-of-pocket health care costs.”
The Impact Research/Expedition Strategies poll on behalf of CQC was conducted June 22-26, 2022. The online survey sampled 603 registered voters in New Jersey. Overall results were weighted to reflect the composition of registered voters in the state. To see the complete survey results here.