How People Use Health Care Price Information in the United States

Still Searching

How People Use Health Care Price Information in the United States

Historically, the health care system has not made it easy for people to find out how much their care will cost them out of pocket. Recently, insurers, state governments, employers and other entities have been trying to make health care price information more easily available to individuals and families. Although these price transparency efforts are new, we know from previous research that many Americans have tried to find price information before getting care. This new research reveals that Americans are still searching for price information, but obstacles remain to helping them find the information that can help them save money.

Public Agenda, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New York State Health Foundation, set out to explore how Americans are trying to find and use health care price information and how residents of four states—New York, New Hampshire, Florida and Texas—are doing so.

The survey results appear in the Public Agenda report, “Still Searching,” and in the set of four research briefs on how residents of New York State, Texas, Florida and New Hampshire use health care price data. The data are based on a nationally representative survey of 2,062 U.S. adults ages 18 and older and representative surveys of 808 adults in Texas, 802 adults in New York State, 819 adults in Florida and 826 adults in New Hampshire. Interviews were conducted from July 29 through September 1, 2016, for each of the states and for the national survey, which included the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each survey was conducted by telephone, including cell phones, and online.

The project was funded by a grant to Public Agenda from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The research in New York State was funded by the New York State Health Foundation. The survey was fielded by SSRS. SSRS was responsible for data collection only. Public Agenda designed the survey instrument and analyzed the data. When using these data, please cite Public Agenda.