December 18, 2013

The Monmouth University Polling Institute and the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute today released their second “Health Matters Poll,” a periodic survey of Garden State attitudes regarding healthcare related issues. The current survey, which examines factors in health insurance decision-making, finds that the health care choice is a bigger consideration than cost for most New Jerseyans. Garden State residents are divided on whether they would give up some of their wages to get better health coverage or whether they would give up health benefits in order to increase their paychecks.

Most insured New Jerseyans (56%) say that the range of available doctors and services is more important to them in choosing a health care plan than the plan’s premium and co-pay costs (33%). State residents covered by government plans such as Medicare or Medicaid (63%) are the most likely to say that the choice of doctors and services is more important. Among those covered by an employer who provides a choice of plans, 53% say that the availability of doctors and services is more important than costs. Among those who purchase coverage on their own, 46% say that choice is more important compared to 38% who say that cost is more important in a health care plan.

“It is not surprising that New Jersey health care consumers care more about access and quality issues than they do cost, although cost is obviously a consideration” said David L. Knowlton, President and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. “There are few things more important to individuals than their own health and they want to be able to select physicians and hospitals they know and trust.”

New Jersey’s Health Coverage Priorities December 2013