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On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus a pandemic. A few days later, nearly every sport shut down, borders closed, and plywood covered the windows of small businesses. Here are are one year later: March 2021 marks one year of consumer surveys at healthinsurance.com. Since then, we've asked about everything from telemedicine services and economic impacts to the 2020 Presidential election and how seniors are handling the pandemic. And through measuring public sentiments over time, we’ve learned a lot in one short year. All of this in mind, our most recent March 2021 survey was the prime opportunity to compare certain 2020 vs. 2021 survey responses, beginning with telemedicine usage. Telemedicine During COVID-19 The Coronavirus pandemic truly tested our nation’s healthcare system. And we had to adjust the way we delivered care to keep up with the high demand of COVID-19 patients. This marked the rise of telemedicine, also known as telehealth. Telemedicine gives us a way to receive virtual care for non-emergency conditions like the common cold, skin rashes, or allergies. The following three findings from our most recent survey alone tell us how much telemedicine has evolved throughout the pandemic. Are you familiar with telemedicine? March 2020: 61% said yes. March 2021: 77% said yes. This is a 26% increase in telehealth awareness. Have you used telemedicine during the Coronavirus pandemic? March 2020: 9% said yes. March 2021: 47% said yes. This is a 422% increase in telemedicine usage. Do you feel that telemedicine visits are as good as in-person visits to the doctor? March 2020: 35% said yes. March 2021: 40% said yes. This is a 14% increase in confidence that telemedicine visits are just as good as in-person visits. Polling the Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout well underway across the country, our survey also closely monitored our respondents’ reactions to the vaccine. Here are our top 3 takeaways: 54% will get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they’re eligible to do so. 54% would still get tested for COVID-19 even after getting the vaccine. 39% would jump the line and get the Coronavirus vaccine sooner if they had the opportunity to do so. We also asked our survey participants if they had a preference of which vaccine they’d get: Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson. 36% said they’d take whatever vaccine they could get. But 28% chose the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, while 21% leaned towards the Pfizer vaccine. Post-Pandemic Perceptions: What Are People Looking Forward To? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have declined with a 11.2% decrease in the 7-day average number of daily cases compared to the previous week (data as of March 10, 2021). This promising trend prompted us to ask people what they’re looking forward to the most once returning back to “normalcy.” Here’s the breakdown: 29% say hanging out with friends and family. 22% look forward to not wearing a mask. 19% say going on vacation. 10% want to go to a live performance (i.e. concert or play). 10% look forward to eating at a restaurant. 7% want to go to a movie. 2% say getting pampered with services like a massage. Still, 62% of our respondents said they have apprehensions about returning to normal. And 39% indicated there are certain things they will actually miss about “pandemic life.” Full Survey Results Click here to download the full survey results. Our Survey Methodology The above survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults from March 12, 2021 to March 14, 2021. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population. More Healthinsurance.com Surveys February 2021: Coronavirus Survey Findings: Coronavirus Vaccines & Prevention Amidst Pandemic Fatigue January 2021 (Part 1): January Survey: A Look At 2021 & Healthcare Habits During COVID-19 January 2021 (Part 2): Consumer Survey: The 2021 Super Bowl & Coronavirus Concerns December 2020: December Survey: Latest Coronavirus Impacts & Findings November 2020: The 2021 Open Enrollment Periods, Health Insurance & The Holidays October 2020: Medicare Survey Gathers Insights on Medical Costs, Technology & More September 2020: U.S. Healthcare, 2020 Election and More August 2020: Multigenerational Perspectives on COVID-19 July 2020: Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More June 2020: Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More May 2020: Testing, Mental Health, and More April 2020: Economic Impacts and Health Insurance Trends March 2020: Telemedicine Usage During COVID-19
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As we settle into 2021, the rollout for the Coronavirus vaccine continues to take shape across the country. Still, many people are experiencing burnout from the pandemic. So for February, we surveyed 1,000 adults to gain insight into the vaccine, pandemic perceptions, and other hot topics. Survey Spotlight: COVID-19 Vaccination & Prevention Insights Nearly 70% of our February survey participants plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can. What struck us most is that 86% of our respondents think that those who get vaccinated should still wear masks and practice social distancing. And, 4 in 10 participants believe we will need to wear masks for one more year. News Spotlight: Access To COVID-19 Testing & Vaccination COVID-19 Testing Though the coronavirus vaccine is currently at the forefront, COVID-19 testing is still an important issue. As highlighted in this HealthLeaders article, which covered our survey, 64% of our respondents would opt for more frequent testing if they could do so from home. COVID-19 Vaccination & Seniors While many states are rolling out mass vaccination sites, some seniors are finding it difficult to access the coronavirus vaccine. According to our survey findings reported by Newsmax, 48% of our survey participants say they know someone over 65 who has had challenges signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine. Quick tip: Visit our Guide to Medicare Vaccine Coverage to see updated information on how Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 Work-Life Balance Pandemic Fatigue With all the challenges the pandemic has caused over the past year, 54% of our February survey respondents say they’re currently experiencing pandemic fatigue. Among this percentage, 53% say the frustration is driving them to return to regular activities despite the risks. Working Remotely Working from home has also played a role in how our survey participants view pandemic fatigue. According to our survey findings covered by ValuePenguin: 79% say working from home has been better for their overall mental health - a pretty big increase from the 37% of respondents who felt stressed working from home back in May 2020. 52% would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange for working from home indefinitely. Explore Our Coronavirus Surveys Press Release: Survey: 48% Know Someone Aged 65+ Who Has Had Difficulty Getting COVID-19 Vaccine February 2021 Survey: Coronavirus Vaccines & Prevention Amidst Pandemic Fatigue January 2021 Survey: A Look At 2021 & Healthcare Habits During COVID-19 December 2020 Survey: Latest Coronavirus Impacts & Findings November 2020 Survey: The 2021 Open Enrollment Periods, Health Insurance & The Holidays October 2020 Survey: Medicare Survey Gathers Insights on Medical Costs, Technology & More September 2020 Survey: U.S. Healthcare, 2020 Election, And More August 2020 Survey: Multigenerational Perspectives On COVID-19 July 2020 Survey #1: COVID-19 Political, Healthcare, Economic, Social, and Workplace Landscapes July 2020 Survey #2: Medicare-Eligible Seniors: Technology, COVID-19, The 2020 Election, and More June 2020 Survey: COVID-19 Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More May 2020 Survey: Coronavirus Testing, Mental Health, and More April 2020 Survey: Coronavirus Economic Impacts March 2020 Survey: Telemedicine Use During the Coronavirus Pandemic
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We’re quickly approaching the one-year mark since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States. Now, we’re witnessing - and for some, experiencing - the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with 56.1 million doses administered according to a state-by-state tally (as of February 16, 2021). In keeping with the COVID-19 timeline of events and updates, our February 2021 survey checked the pulse of 1,000 U.S. adults on topics such as: Coronavirus vaccinations COVID-19 testing and prevention Pandemic fatigue Employment and working remotely How Are People Feeling About The Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout? From the start, public health officials were clear that it would take time to vaccinate people who wanted the Coronavirus vaccine. But we may not have predicted the confusion and frustration that came along with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Across the country, Americans in certain areas are seeing vaccine shortages, different state-by-state plans for administering the shots, and technology challenges. It’s no wonder why our survey indicated that 48% of our respondents know someone over age 65 who has had difficulty signing up to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Regardless, growing enthusiasm about the coronavirus vaccine still remains strong. In fact, our coronavirus survey revealed that 68% plan to get the vaccine as soon as they’re able to do so. What struck us most is that 86% of our COVID-19 survey respondents think people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine should continue to wear masks and social distance. What’s The Latest With COVID-19 Testing and Prevention? Though the COVID-19 vaccine is the main headline right now, we still wanted to check back in with respondents about their feelings on Coronavirus testing and prevention. Here are top three key findings: 64% say they’d get tested for COVID-19 more frequently if they could do it at home. 49% have never been tested for COVID-19. 41% believe we’ll need to continue to wear masks for one more year. Are People Still Experiencing Coronavirus Pandemic Fatigue? You might have heard the term “pandemic fatigue” - a state of being worn out by recommended COVID-19 precautions and restrictions. Pandemic fatigue can leave people feeling bored, depressed, and anxious. Turns out, our survey indicated that it’s still a very prominent feeling in the lives of many Americans: 54% are currently experiencing pandemic fatigue. Of that percentage, 53% say they’re feeling so frustrated that they’re ready to return to their regular activities despite the risks. And these current feelings of pandemic fatigue is no stranger to us. Our previous coronavirus survey findings showed early signs of pandemic fatigue, whether it’s the need for a digital detox, or negative feelings from economic stress and nationwide protests. How Is COVID-19 Impacting The Workforce? Speaking of pandemic fatigue, our COVID-19 survey revealed that 51% of respondents have taken at least one mental health day during the pandemic. Yet, our survey also uncovered that 79% of our respondents say that working from home has been better for their overall mental health - a significant increase when you consider how 37% of our respondents felt more stressed working from home during our May 2020 survey. Here are other interesting survey findings related to working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic: 59% of respondents are still taking vacation days even though they’re working from home. 50% of those working from home are finding it hard to manage their work-life balance. 36% are planning a big vacation despite COVID-19 travel restrictions and continued safety precautions. Full Survey Results Click here to download the full survey results. Our Survey Methodology The above survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults from February 11, 2021 to February 15, 2021. The survey has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. More Healthinsurance.com Surveys January 2021 (Part 1): January Survey: A Look At 2021 & Healthcare Habits During COVID-19 January 2021 (Part 2): Consumer Survey: The 2021 Super Bowl & Coronavirus Concerns December 2020: December Survey: Latest Coronavirus Impacts & Findings November 2020: The 2021 Open Enrollment Periods, Health Insurance & The Holidays October 2020: Medicare Survey Gathers Insights on Medical Costs, Technology & More September 2020: U.S. Healthcare, 2020 Election and More August 2020: Multigenerational Perspectives on COVID-19 July 2020: Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More June 2020: Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More May 2020: Testing, Mental Health, and More April 2020: Economic Impacts and Health Insurance Trends March 2020: Telemedicine Usage During COVID-19
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Medicare

This is a federal health insurance program primarily for individuals age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, and for people with End Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure). There are four parts to Medicare - Parts A, B, C and Part D. Part A is for hospital coverage. Part B is for outpatient medical coverage (like doctor office visits). Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan, and Part D is prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) are accessible through private insurance companies and must offer the same benefits as Parts A and B of Original Medicare, but the rules are different along with costs and restrictions. They also include more benefits, such as vision, dental, hearing, and health/wellness plans. Another add-on value to Medicare coverage is the purchase of a Medicare supplement or “Medigap” plan that fills the “gaps” in insurance that Medicare doesn’t cover (like a deductible).

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ACA (Obamacare)

Obamacare plans are major medical insurance plans that have the ten essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).. These plans can be purchased on the federal marketplace or through your state exchange during the annual open enrollment period that runs November 1 - December 15 or during a special enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event that leaves you uninsured. ACA plans are an excellent option for those seeking a plan that includes maternity and mental health benefits, individuals who could qualify for a financial subsidy to reduce the cost of their health insurance, or for those who have a pre-existing condition. Not sure if you qualify? Get a free quote right now.

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Dental Insurance

Dental insurance for many people is part of their employee benefits package. However, if you don’t have access to employee benefits or missed your employer’s annual open enrollment period, purchasing an individual dental insurance plan can help you maintain good dental hygiene while helping you avoid expensive dental costs Dental coverage can include basic cleanings up to major services. See if dental insurance is right for you!

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Hospital Indemnity Insurance

Hospital indemnity insurance are supplemental health insurance services that pay a fixed dollar amount for commonly used medical services, including hospital and doctor office benefits. If you experience a covered medical event, such as a hospital stay, then a hospital indemnity pays a set fee in cash directly to you or the hospital designated by you. More than just hospital insurance, our products can also include supplemental indemnity payments for a critical illness diagnosis or unexpected accidents. Hospital indemnity insurance is not considered an ACA-qualified plan, but it can be used as a supplement to a major medical ACA plan to help cover a deductible or out-of-pocket expenses.

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Short Term Medical Health Insurance

A short-term health plan is temporary health insurance that can be purchased for as little as 30-days up or for up to 364-days to fill an immediate uninsured need.. Plans use the same terminology as major medical insurance, like deductible, coinsurance and copays, but since it is for temporary needs, it does not cover all of the same health benefits that an ACA health plan would, like maternity or substance abuse. The coverage is primarily for unexpected accidents and illnesses that could occur while an individual is waiting to join a permanent major medical plan, which keeps costs lower.

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Telemedicine

Telemedicine is two-way communication platform between a medical professional and a patient, typically through a smartphone or computer. During the conversation, a U.S. board-certified doctor or nurse can diagnose and prescribe medication for an illness in minutes. From the comfort of your home, you can visit with a medical professional 24/7 for most conditions they would typically diagnose in an Urgent Care clinic, saving you both time and money. Find out if telemedicine services are the right fit for you!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The required essential benefits are designed to ensure everyone in the individual and small employer group major medical health insurance markets has comprehensive coverage for specific services in accordance with ACA guidelines. These benefits are:

  • Outpatient services (e.g. office visits)
  • Emergency room services
  • Inpatient services (hospitalization)
  • Maternity
  • Mental health and substance abuse
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services (e.g. physical and occupational therapy)
  • Lab services
  • Preventive services (e.g. physicals, mammograms, etc.)
  • Pediatric dental and vision

ACA health insurance is the federally mandated health insurance law of the land, also known as Obamacare. It governs individual and family plans and requires ten minimum essential benefits. Anyone can apply, and those that are under the 400% poverty line can receive a financial subsidy to curb the cost of their health insurance. Enrollment is available November 1-December 15 in most states. If you have a life situation that leaves you uninsured, you might be eligible for the special enrollment period to get coverage.

Short term medical insurance is not ACA insurance. It is temporary insurance for those who need immediate coverage. Like ACA insurance, Short term health insurance includes benefits such as hospital, lab and x-rays, but it does not include all ten of the minimum essential benefits and it does not cover pre-existing conditions.

Many individuals apply for both Medicare Part A and Part B so they have doctor coverage and hospital coverage. However, if you are interested in additional benefit structure and pricing, check out Medicare Advantage Plans, which is known as Part C to see if it fits for your life situation. Medicare Part C includes Part A and B benefits, but is offered through a private health insurance company instead of the federal government and may offer additional benefits and may have some other varying differences. If you take prescription drugs, it’s smart to look into Part D, which is the prescription drug benefit of Medicare.

Indemnity insurance such as a health benefit indemnity (a hospital indemnity often combined with other supplemental insurance services) is not major medical insurance Instead, it provides a cash payment directly to you (or to the provider you identify) when you experience a covered event, like unexpected hospitalization. You can choose how to use your benefit dollars and it helps defray the cost of medical expenses, both the expected like co-pays and deductibles, and the unexpected, like lost wages. Indemnity plans help protect you financially.

Dental insurance is an added benefit that is not covered by your health insurance plan. Cleanings, crowns or root canals are not covered by your health insurance plan. But dental insurance will help ease the cost of these types of medical expenses. However, unless you have employer group health insurance, dental insurance is not available unless you purchase coverage on your own. It’s a good idea to determine what kind of coverage you might need for you and your family.

Telemedicine is low-cost access to U.S. board-certified doctors who can treat symptoms and prescribe medications over the phone or through video chat, just like a visit to Urgent Care. Unlike the doctor's office, you get a personal visit from the comfort of your home 24/7, even on holidays! If you have a high deductible or don't have a doctor's office copay option on your health plan, telemedicine is much more affordable than paying out-of-pocket for a doctor's office visit that takes you away from work or home.

Health insurance can help protect you financially from the medical bills - like an accident or illness diagnosis you were not expecting. Paying for medical care out of pocket 100% can get extremely expensive. Surgical treatment for a broken arm averages $16,000. But with health insurance coverage, you will be able to manage your expenses. Not only does health insurance help you access providers like hospitals and doctors, it helps cover your expenses. Depending on your plan, you may have to meet a deductible and pay a co-pay amount for doctor’s visits, but insurance can cover a significant portion of your insurance bills. For example, the average ACA bronze level plan deductible is $5,900, but there is no lifetime max (e.g. an amount beyond which, insurance doesn’t have to pay). You can secure lower deductibles with higher level ACA plans (silver, gold, platinum) and with Short term health insurance. Short term life insurance plans do have a lifetime maximum, so if choosing a short term plan, check the amount. Often, for a few extra dollars, you can secure a lifetime maximum of $500,000 or more.

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