Survey: Michigan voters prioritize lowering out-of-pocket health costs

Survey: Michigan voters prioritize lowering out-of-pocket health costs

Lansing, MI  A new survey of Michigan voters from Impact Research and EPIC-MRA reveals voters see high out-of-pocket costs as the biggest issue in the state's health care system. Michiganders are ready to support politicians who make lowering out-of-pocket costs a priority.

"High health care costs and the unpredictability of what people must pay out-of-pocket are weighing on Michigan voters," said the Hon. Donna Christensen, CQC board member, physician, and former Member of Congress. "Patients are facing thousands of dollars in medical debt that often goes into collections, as Michiganders with insurance are being hit with rapidly rising deductibles, premiums, and other out-of-pocket costs when they go to their doctor, the hospital or pharmacy. Action from our lawmakers is overdue: it's time for them to prioritize lowering costs and improving access to quality care. It's time for insurance to act like insurance."

Michiganders' number one concern when it comes to health care is that out-of-pocket costs are too high, and deductibles are the costs that people struggle with the most, followed by monthly premiums. Eighty-nine percent of Michigan 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.

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More insights from the research include:

  • 67% agree that the costs of health care are going up more than other things they need.
  • By more than a 2-to-1 margin, voters' main concern in health care is that out-of-pocket costs are too high (35%).
  • A large majority of voters (84%) think there are problems with the state's health care.
  • Deductibles are the biggest specific pain point when it comes to cost (38%), especially for those with private insurance (44%).
  • Half of voters (50%) have either had their household finances seriously affected by medical debt or are close with someone who has. 
  • 58% of voters agree it's difficult to find mental health providers that are covered by insurance.

Michiganders want their elected officials to take action to lower out-of-pocket health care costs. More than 7-in-10 voters (73%) say they are more likely to support a candidate who makes reducing health care costs their top priority, including strong majorities of persuadable voters (63%) and Independents (54%).

When it comes to lowering health care costs, Michigan 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 (64%).
  • Capping the amount health insurers can charge patients overall (66%).
  • Requiring health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to pass the rebates or discounts they receive from drug companies on to patients (68%).

Michigan voters also support policies that increase access to health care, including expanding mental health care and mental health prescription drugs (82% support). 

"It's clear that Michigan voters are feeling the effects of rising out-of-pocket costs and want to see lawmakers act to address the medical debt that many are facing," said Bernie Porn, President of EPIC-MRA. "Our poll shows that voters in the state are looking for sensible solutions to improve coverage and lower costs."

The Impact Research/EPIC-MRA poll on behalf of CQC was conducted June 15-20, 2022. The online survey sampled 609 registered voters in Michigan. Overall results were weighted to reflect the composition of registered voters in the state.

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