The Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report released in March 2021 revealed major upheaval for consumers. While payment responsibility continued its increase, consumers had to navigate financial setbacks due to the pandemic. This was in addition to the friction already experienced from legacy payment processes. However, there is hope that the digital surge of 2020 established contactless channels that will remain. This will answer consumers’ ever-present demand for payment innovation in healthcare.
Consumer Payment Struggles Heightened by the Pandemic
The financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic hit consumers hard with devastating trends, including high rates of unemployment and loss of insurance coverage. The pandemic exacerbated the already fraught financial situation for consumers in healthcare. In 2020, consumer costs continued to increase for premiums and medical bills, as did frustration and confusion with the slow and outdated payment processes prevalent throughout healthcare.
Trends on consumer payment struggles include:
- The average deductible grew to $1,644 in 2020, up from $917 a decade ago (KFF)
- 70% of consumers are confused by medical bills (InstaMed Consumer Healthcare Payments Survey 2020)
How 2020 Shaped Consumer Sentiment
The pandemic highlighted how much the healthcare industry needs to catch up in the digital world. The word “contactless” is now ingrained in our common vernacular and is expected in every possible consumer experience. Consumer sentiments show the demand for contactless experiences that are also digital and convenient has been on the rise for years, and 2020 might be the year where the importance of this rising demand was fully realized.
Trends on demand for contactless options include:
- 78% of consumers want contactless options to remain in the future (InstaMed Consumer Healthcare Payments Survey 2020)
- Almost 7 in 10 consumers worldwide say the shift to digital payments will likely be permanent (Mastercard)