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As Consumers Feel Financial Burden of Increasing Health Care Costs, Health Plans Have Opportunity to Address Unmet Consumer Needs and Become Trusted Advisors
Date:6/19/2008

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to a recent survey from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a part of Deloitte LLP, only 7 percent of Americans are financially prepared for their future health care needs. At the same time, only 10 percent of consumers are completely satisfied with their health plans. As non-traditional players enter the health care arena and begin to respond to consumers' demand for increased access to online tools, information and services, health plans must act quickly to improve relationships with consumers and address their unmet needs to strengthen their role as trusted advisors.

"Health care costs have now approached one-fifth of the average household's spending, outpacing housing, food, clothing and transportation," said Paul Keckley, Ph.D., executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. "As consumers assume more personal responsibility for covering their health care costs, and gain increased awareness of treatment options, quality and price differences, they will want to take even greater control of their health care decisions."

The 2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers, a representative survey of more than 3,000 Americans, was conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. The survey suggests that there are distinct consumer segments with diverse needs and preferences. Across these segments, there are unmet needs that present opportunities for health plans to fill the void. To capitalize on this opportunity, however, health plans need to consider new strategies, capabilities and investments.

"Health plans have a tremendous opportunity to become the trusted source for personalized, integrated information about health conditions, treatment options, quality, and price," said Diane Davies, managing principal for Deloitte Consulting LLP's Health Plans practice. "They should consider promoting transparency as a core feature of benefit plans and build the necessa
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SOURCE Deloitte
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