In the News > June 2021 Coronavirus Survey: Pandemic Health Checkup

June 2021 Coronavirus Survey: Pandemic Health Checkup

As many U.S. businesses continue to open back up and lift mask restrictions, our latest HealthInsurance.com survey - which reached 1,000 adult Americans - measured topics like healthcare, self-care and returning to normalcy. Let’s walk through the highlights and top takeaways.

Coronavirus and Views On Healthcare

Top Takeaway: Healthcare usage is changing.

One year ago, our June 2020 survey uncovered that 48% of our respondents said that COVID-19 has changed the way they use healthcare. Now, 62% are saying that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way they use healthcare, signifying a 25% increase.

We also learned that 67% believe our healthcare system has gotten better since the pandemic began - a stark contrast to the 78% who felt that the U.S. healthcare system was either worse or unchanged due to the pandemic as of November 2020.

Catching Up On Self Care

Top Takeaway: The pandemic has caused people to focus on their health and self care now more than ever.

The pandemic has given many of us more free time to focus on health, fitness and self-care. In fact, 73% of our respondents say that their self-care has improved since the start of the pandemic, which is a 81% increase since June 2020.

Adding to that, 80% have paid more attention to their health since the pandemic began. This could be why we saw a notable increase in using wearables Apple Watches or FitBits during our June 2021 survey. Now, 52% of our respondents are using these types of wearables to monitor their health and movement.

But despite the emphasis on health and wellness, 51% are feeling like they need time off from work, revealing a 22% increase from our June 2020 survey. And 78% plan to travel this summer (which is likely the reason why 49% of respondents are dieting ahead of the summer season).

Returning Back To Normalcy

Top Takeaway: We’re “kind of” ready to resume normal life.

Returning back to normalcy was perhaps the most interesting topic we covered during our latest survey.

For example, 59% are hesitant to re-enter social routines, and 48% are still worried about contracting COVID-19. Yet, their behaviors don’t necessarily match their hesitant mindsets:

  • 60% feel comfortable resuming travel for work.
  • 59% have resumed going to restaurants and or bars.
  • 58% have started going to other peoples’ houses
  • 38% have resumed leisurely travel.

But protection and prevention are still on the minds of our respondents, with 80% saying they have received the COVID-19 vaccine and 77% still wearing masks in public.

Survey Resources

View the full survey results.

Survey Methodology

The above survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults from June, 2, 2021 to June 6, 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.

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Ask your spouse to talk to his or her HR or benefits team to see if this is an option and what the associated healthcare costs may be for you. 2. COBRA You’ll likely receive a COBRA enrollment notice that includes information to continue your health insurance through your employer. Pros: You can keep your current health plan and continue to use your doctors and pharmacists under a policy you’re already familiar with. Your copays and deductibles will remain the same. Your spouses and children are eligible. Cons: You will likely face a higher premium because your employer will not subsidize the cost, and you’ll be charged a 2% administrative fee for continuing the plan. You can stay on COBRA for a limited time – typically up to 18 months. Some employers don’t offer this option, so be proactive and ask about it if you’re interested. 3. ACA (Obamacare) Plans Though the 2020 open enrollment period has ended, losing your job may qualify you for a special enrolment period exception. You can see if you can get coverage for an ACA plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Pros: Offers comprehensive major medical coverage for the 10 essential health benefits. You can’t be denied for pre-existing conditions. Tax credits are available if you meet the qualifications. Cons: You may not qualify to enroll in a plan at this time.* Can be costly if you don’t qualify for a subsidy. Plans can have narrow networks, so it’s wise to check if your doctors and providers are in-network. *Note: U.S. officials are also considering a special enrollment period to help uninsured Americans during the COVID-19 crisis. 4. Short-Term Health Insurance This type of temporary health insurance is designed to be a cost-effective and flexible insurance option if you’ve lost your job and have a gap in health insurance coverage. Pros: Flexible plan duration: Your coverage period can range from 30 to 364 days, with policy renewal of up to three years, depending on your state’s rules. 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It could save you money in the long run. For seniors especially, the cost of medications continues to rise at an alarming rate. One of the simplest ways for seniors to save is to find and compare Prescription Drug Plans (Medicare Part D). Start by comparing quotes, or talking to an insurance agent who is willing to research the medications you take. The right agent will have knowledge of all the pharmacies close to your home and plans available in your area. He or she can also help you identify ways to save on your prescriptions. 4. Use a Health Savings Account (HSA) You may have access to a Health Savings Account (HSA) through your employer (or previous employer). Using an HSA can save you money because your contributions are pre-tax dollars and can accrue interest. And unlike a Flexible Savings Account (FSA), the HSA is owned by you, so it can carry over into your retirement. And there is no deadline on when you can spend the funds. 5. Know The Difference Between Emergency Care and Urgent Care Some people don't know the difference between emergency care and urgent care. But knowing which option to use in a given situation can save you money: Emergency room visits can cost far more than urgent care center visits. Your initial reaction might be to go to the ER when you need medical treatment but can't see your primary care doctor. But in many cases, an urgent care facility will serve you just as well at a lower cost. Start by keeping a list of nearby ERs and urgent care centers handy. An urgent care visit is good for a minor illness or injury, but if your condition is life-threatening, always go to the ER. You might also consider going the telemedicine route, which entails talking to a doctor online, rather than going to an in-person appointment. Telemedicine usage also gained momentumduring the coronavirus pandemic. Overall, turning to telehealth may not only reduce your healthcare costs - it could save you time and keep you out of the waiting room. 6. Ask If All Tests Are Necessary You may think that doctor-ordered tests are standard protocol, but those tests could get expensive fast. Be sure to ask your doctor if all diagnostic tests are necessary for your health. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor if all diagnostic tests are necessary for your health. Here are some questions to get the conversation started. Why is the test being done? What steps does the test involve? How long will it take to get the results? What will the test cost? 7. Request Outpatient Services When Possible Did you know that some inpatient procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis? Often, doctors choose to have a procedure performed on an inpatient basis, simply for the convenience of the patient and the medical staff. Many procedures do require a medically supervised period of recovery, but not all of them. 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Drug manufacturers or insurers may also offer discounts for certain medications, so be on the lookout for special prices. Reward programs Certain stores or pharmacies may offer coupons or reward programs. Every rewards program is different, but in general: You can join a store's program (sometimes for free or for a small monthly payment) and earn points based on purchases. You can then use those points towards in-store purchases. You might also receive other perks like free 1 – 2 day shipping for prescriptions, 24/7 pharmacy consultations, or points for reporting wellness activities like walking or running. There are many reward programs to choose from - CVS ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards, Meijer mPerks, and Rite Aid wellness+ rewards are three examples. Buy in bulk You might think of paper towels or tissues when buying in bulk. But you can also be a bulk shopper with certain prescriptions - the more you buy, the less they cost. 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The average retail price of Simvastatin is around $66.39, but it can be about $3.64 with a prescription savings card. Prescription savings cards are suitable for almost everyone, including Medicare recipients who want to receive further discounts, those experiencing gaps in medical coverage or students on a tight budget. However, it's important to check out the fine print to see what's covered. Apply for assistance You may qualify for prescription drug assistance programs (PAPs) if you're an early retiree, in between jobs, a senior on a fixed income, or a college student. PAPs offer low-cost or free medication to those who don't have health insurance, are underinsured or can’t afford their medications. Assistance may be available through the drug manufacturer or through independent non-profits offering financial aid, such as NeedyMeds and National Council on Aging (NCOA). The cost-benefit varies by drug and PAP. Prescription home delivery You might save cash if you get your prescription drugs shipped directly to your home. In some cases, you can order a 60- to 90-day supply for a better price than buying the drug in person at your local pharmacy. Prescription home delivery makes sense for anyone who wants the convenience of not having to travel to the pharmacy to pick up medications. College students living away from home or those without a car might especially benefit from this option. But first: Check with both your doctor and your insurance company to make sure the home delivery option is available for your specific prescription drug. If you need to ask questions about your medication, picking it up in person at the pharmacy might be a better option for you. Free trial programs Some pharmaceutical companies offer free trial programs for those in between jobs or facing gaps in insurance. Think of being a first-time subscriber to Hulu, for example. 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