UHPP Releases Four Utah-Specific Data Briefs on Healthcare Affordability
60% of Utahns experience healthcare affordability burdens
and 90% support broad bipartisan solutions
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Courtney Bullard

SALT LAKE-- Utah Health Policy Project has been working with the Healthcare Value Hub to identify viable solutions to target healthcare affordability issues in Utah. Nationally, consumer worry about healthcare affordability is well documented but now – for the first time—a new survey reveals how affordability concerns and ideas for action play out in Utah. 

Altarum is a nonprofit that works to advance healthcare solutions through a variety or research and advisory services. The Healthcare Value Hub operates within Altarum and reviews nationwide evidence to identify which policies and practices work. They offer their expertise on a state based level, free of charge, to help people live their healthiest lives.

From August 28th to September 14th, 2018, Altarum surveyed more than 1,000 Utahn adults – ages 18 and older.

This new poll is the ONLY survey that places all these burdens in the same instrument and is able to produce this overall number. Moreover, cost barriers far exceed any other reason for not getting needed healthcare. 

Four targeted reports were released:

  1. Utah Residents Struggle to Afford High Healthcare Costs: Support a Range of Government Solutions Across Party Lines
  2. Utah Residents Worried about High Drug Costs–Support a Range of Government Solutions
  3. Many Privately-Insured Utah Residents Receive Unexpected Medical Bills; More Than One-Third Unhappy with Resolution, May Not Understand Options for Assistance
  4. Views on Healthcare Price and Quality Transparency Among Utah Adults

To read the full briefs click here .
Key Findings:

  • 3 in 5 Utah adults experienced healthcare affordability burdens in the past 12 months. These healthcare problems range from: 
  1. being uninsured due to high premium costs
  2. avoiding or foregoing care due to cost concerns (53%)
  3. to getting care but struggling to pay medical bills. 
  • An even higher number, more than 4 in 5, are worried about affording healthcare in the future. 
  • More than half of adults are “worried” or “very worried” about affording their drugs. 
  • Respondents are very dissatisfied with how the health system is working and 3 in 4 respondents want to see the system changed. 
  • Importantly, while respondents DO see a role for themselves in fixing the health system – mainly in terms of taking better care of their health – they believe, across party lines, that government has to solve these problems. 
  • Also, across party lines, Utah adults support a broad array of specific solutions. Top vote getters (more than 90% support): 
  1. Show what a fair price would be for specific procedures 
  2. Require insurers to provide upfront cost estimates to consumers 
  3. Make it easy to switch insurers if health plan drops your doctor 
  4. Require hospitals and doctors to provide up front patient cost estimates

This data speaks to current pending legislation and also shows enormous bi-partisan support in specific legislative approaches to increasing healthcare affordability in Utah.

For more information contact:

Lynn Quincy
Executive Director, The Healthcare Value Hub

Courtney Bullard
Education and Collaborations Director, Utah Health Policy Project
About UHPP
Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP)  is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advancing sustainable health care solutions for underserved Utahns through better access, education, and public policy. Since 2006 UHPP has worked hard to develop solutions to create a health system that provides better access to higher quality health care at a lower cost. We pride ourselves on being an open resource for the public, community leaders, the media, businesses, health care providers and policymakers.
Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP)
1832 W Research Way #60 
Salt Lake City, UT 84119