Skip nav to main content.

COVID-19 Accelerating Concerns Among Americans Over Rising Healthcare Costs, Lively Survey Finds

A new study from Health Savings Account Lively, Inc paints a grim picture of the…

  • June 9, 2021

A new study from Health Savings Account Lively, Inc paints a grim picture of the state of healthcare as 60 percent of Americans are not prepared to cover a medical emergency this year, 73 percent worry about the long-term healthcare costs, and 46 percent have skipped getting coverage.

The rising cost of healthcare coupled with the financial impact from COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of personalized employer-offered healthcare coverage for employees.

More positively, the findings also show that Americans’ understanding of healthcare benefits have increased and are more proactively managing their healthcare costs.

With 61 percent of Americans worried about healthcare costs in retirement, employers need to prioritize healthcare coverage and provide opportunities for employees to optimize their health benefits to address long-term healthcare costs.

“Employers must provide a high-quality, comprehensive benefits package to attract talent and stay in business,” says Shobin Uralil, co-founder and COO of Lively. “As employees engage with healthcare benefits more intentionally and look for ways to help offset rising healthcare costs, employers should consider giving employees a variety of plan offerings and savings options like a health savings account (HSA). This will empower employees to invest in their health and reduce their financial risk.”

Rising medical costs are forcing Americans to evaluate their financial futures.

Nearly one-third of Americans are worried about short-term healthcare costs, and overall, Americans expect to spend 40 percent of their retirement savings on healthcare alone.

Due to cost, nearly half of all adults surveyed have delayed or skipped medications, and have not followed a doctor’s recommendations over concerns for how much additional care may cost.

Only 60 percent have enough money saved for a medical emergency this year.

Younger Americans, especially those aged 25-34, expressed that COVID-19 has impacted financial goals this year and long-term.

Americans are showing a greater understanding of healthcare and benefits.

The majority understand terms like insurance co-pay (84 percent), insurance deductible (80 percent) and insurance out-of-pocket expense (80 percent).

This was an increase from 62% in 2019 (somewhat or completely understood). The increase can likely be attributed to the focus on healthcare from the pandemic.

Healthcare is top-of-mind when planning for future employment: Next to salary, healthcare coverage is the most important benefit offering for employees.

Healthcare coverage is a strong factor in employee retention, with 20 percent ranking it as the #1 benefit for staying at a job while 16 percent saying it is the #1 reason for switching jobs (compared to 22 percent and 28 percent for salary, respectively).

HSAs are viewed as a key healthcare benefit, equally important for personal finance, healthcare and retirement financial planning and savings.

“Medical expenses are the number one reason Americans go into debt. With increasing financial concerns surfaced from COVID-19, they are more likely to change jobs for healthcare benefits. To keep the best people satisfied in their jobs, employers must renew focus on providing quality health benefits and prioritizing employee wellbeing,” continued Uralil.