Healthcare Coverage, Costs Forcing Workers To Move On

Slightly more than half of employed adults (51 percent) agree they have to stay at their current job for the health insurance. And, 30 percent said they had to leave a previous job because the employer did not offer health insurance and health benefits.

According to a new study from the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) in Los Angeles, Calif., these percentages have steadily increased since 2017. Six years after Health Insurance Exchanges first were launched as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Americans report they are largely satisfied with their healthcare options, according to a survey of 3,760 adults ages 18-64 in August 2019 by the TCHS.

Healthcare costs are having a negative impact on personal healthcare with more than one-quarter of Americans (27 percent) canceling a medical appointment due to expected costs (most often Latinos (37 percent), Generation Z (33 percent), and Millennials (31%)). Among the uninsured, 48 percent say they don’t have coverage because of the cost, and more than seven in 10 (71 percent) say prescription drugs are too costly.

“Health costs can be very expensive, particularly for the 66 percent of Americans reporting a physical or mental health condition,” said Hector De La Torre, executive director of the TCHS. “Even for those without a health condition, there is always a concern that they or their loved ones may someday require healthcare that can devastate their finances.”

On the national policy level, roughly two in five Americans (42 percent) have a positive impression of the ACA, holding mostly consistent since 2017. Black/African-American adults are more likely to have a very positive impression of the ACA (35 percent versus 25 percent, Latino; 19 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 17 percent White).

There are some positive signs with regard to affordability: Slightly fewer Americans report premium costs increased in 2019 (30 percent compared to 35 percent in 2018); and, the same is true for deductibles (26 percent compared to 29 percent in 2018).

“With healthcare in the U.S. adapting to the ACA over several years, followed by uncertainty due to attempts to repeal and replace it, and then elimination of the individual mandate requiring Americans to have health insurance in 2018, consumers are understandably cautious as they try to keep or find employer-based health coverage,” said De La Torre. 

For more information, visit https://www.transamericacenterforhealthstudies.org/