Healthcare Consumers Take Active Role, Want Customized Services

March 5, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Email | Personalization | Pharma & Healthcare

Overall healthcare consumer needs are basic – better service, personalization and value – but they are starting to include health plan customization, help with clinical decisions, unique coverage and pricing features, and holistic options, according to Deloitte’s 2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers.

Below are?some of the findings from the survey.

Consumers want to be educated

  • 52% of consumers say they understand their insurance coverage, but only 8% understand their policies completely. Yet they are hungry for more information:
    • 54% have sought information on coverage of a service, prodedure, test, or drug in the past year (29% said they might do so in the future).
    • 53% have referred to their enrollment package for information about coverage (29% said they might do so in the future).

    deloitte-healthcare-consumers-active-role-plan1.jpg

  • To educate themselves on newly prescribed medications…
    • 1 out of 3 consumers have used a health-related website or search engine.
    • 32% have consulted a pharmacist in person, by phone or through email.
    • 22% consult friends or relatives.
    • Other sources are health plan websites (11%), government websites (9%), medical journals or books (8%) and news sources (6%).
  • One out of four consumers report consulting a doctor in person, by phone or through email before taking the new medication.

Customizable solutions are preferred

If given the opportunity, 78% of consumers would like to customize their insurance product by first selecting benefits and features they value, thus increasing or decreasing the overall cost of their coverage; 22% prefer selecting from a few pre-packaged products with defined benefits and features.

deloitte-healthcare-preference-customizing-healthcare-plan1.jpg

Advertising pays off

Although 84% of those surveyed prefer generics to name-brand drugs, direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising for medications and devices prompts many to express a brand preference:

  • Some 38% have asked a doctor to prescribe a particular drug by name or brand or asked whether it would be a better choice than the one he/she prescribed; 7% have done so regarding?a device.
  • Advertising on TV, in print, or on the internet played a role in their mentioning the drug to their doctor?- 52% said so for drugs, 47% for devices.

Healthcare is an important political issue

  • 79% of consumers believe healthcare will be an important issue in the 2008 election; 46% described it as one of the top three issues that will affect their vote.
  • 66% strongly favor or lean toward state-mandated health insurance.
  • 29% support a tax increase to help cover the uninsured; another 37% say they would consider a tax hike.

About the survey: The “2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers” is a representative poll of more than 3,000 Americans age 18-75, conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

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