NEW REPORT FROM TJC AND HEALTHCARE VALUE HUB AT ALTARUM


HEALTHCARE AFFORDABILITY BURDENS TOP CONCERN FOR TENNESSEANS

In a period of great political divisiveness, Tennessee adults are fairly united around one topic—the need for government action to address healthcare issues, especially healthcare affordability.

A survey of more than 900 Tennessee adults, conducted from March 26, 2021, to April 9, 2021, revealed that Tennessee residents see government as the key stakeholder that needs to act to address health system problems. Moreover, addressing healthcare problems is just as important as the economy/joblessness in terms of issues that Tennessee residents want elected officials to work on.

Tennessee policymakers should not ignore this clear call for action by state residents. The high burden of healthcare affordability and high levels of support for change suggest that elected leaders and other stakeholders need to make addressing healthcare affordability a top priority.

Some highlights of the survey:

  • 3 in 5 (61%) Tennessee adults experienced healthcare affordability burdens in the past year. These problems range from being uninsured due to high premium costs, avoiding or foregoing care due to cost concerns, and/or getting care but struggling to pay the resulting medical bills.
  • 54% of Tennessee adults encountered one or more cost-related barriers to getting healthcare during the prior 12 months. 35% of Tennessee adults experienced struggles to pay medical bills.
  • 3 in 4 (78%) Tennessean adults are worried about affording healthcare in the future. Healthcare affordability worries are highest for lower income families (at 84%), but 66% of households earning more than $100,000 per year report being “somewhat” or “very” worried.
  • 47% of respondents of all ages are “worried” or “very worried” about losing their health insurance.
  • 87% of respondents across party lines agreed with the statement: “The government should expand health Insurance options so that everyone can afford quality coverage.”

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