Michiganders are having trouble accessing and paying for both physical and mental health care and want their state and federal lawmakers to prioritize driving down health care costs, including by capping insurance deductibles and curbing what insurers can charge patients, according to a new survey.
Lansing-based EPIC-MRA, a survey research firm, in June asked 609 registered voters in Michigan about a range of health care matters. The final results, which health policy and nonprofit leaders from across the state discussed during a panel discussion on Wednesday, painted a picture of Michiganders whose household finances have been seriously impacted by health care bills, have had trouble finding mental health providers covered by their insurance plans, and find their insurance deductibles to be unaffordable.
“By more than a 3-1 margin, voters’ main concern with health care is that out-of-pocket costs are too high,” EPIC-MRA President Bernie Porn said during Wednesday’s panel discussion organized by the Michigan League for Public Policy, a Lansing-based think tank, and Consumers for Quality Care, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of health care advocates. “As a result of high out-of-pocket costs, medical debt is widespread. Fifty percent of voters have either had their households’ finances seriously affected by medical debt or know someone who has.
“And among voters that have had their finances affected, 71% say they or someone close to them have had medical bills go into collections,” Porn continued.