Workers Paying More Attention to Health Care

May 27, 2009 ( - Nearly all workers participating in a survey commissioned by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) report reviewing their health plan options during their last annual enrollment period and about one in four changed health plans as a result.

The survey of 1,500 workers employed at large employers (2,000 or more employees) conducted by Fidelity Investments in March 2009 found most workers are more attuned to the cost of health care,with 72% saying they have become more aware of the total cost ofhealth care services in the past year and 56% more aware of whatthey pay for health insurance, according to a press release.

Perhaps in an effort to control their own health care costs, a majority ofsurvey respondents (52%) report that living a healthy lifestyleis more of a priority than it was a year ago. The press release said 34% of respondents report exercising more, nearly half (46%) say they areeating healthier and (44%) report eating out less atfast-food restaurants.

However, the survey results also show some workers are taking an approach to controlling costs that could take a toll on their health. Twenty-seven percent reportforgoing health care treatment to save money on copayments orcoinsurance costs, and 20% say they have skippedtaking their prescription drug medication dosage as prescribed by theirdoctor.

Many workers, particularly older workers (44% of thoseage 45-64), report that their mental health has been negativelyaffected by the economy.