Deloitte survey: Consumers satisfied with health plans, but concerned about changes

WASHINGTON Of the 82% of consumers surveyed who considered themselves "well" or "adequately" insured, nearly all (96%) were somewhat or very satisfied with their health plans overall, according to a new poll.

 

Among 1,019 adults surveyed by Harris Interactive on behalf of Deloitte, many respondents also were concerned that the new health-reform law will bring about significant changes to their current coverage. Of those enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans, 61% believed their employer will reduce benefits for dependents and retirees, and 32% thought employers will probably pay the penalty and discontinue health coverage for employees altogether.

 

 

"Anxiety about current and future health-insurance coverage will continue to be a major issue for American consumers as healthcare reform is implemented nationally," stated Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. "For example, our research shows that consumers who are covered through Medicare are more highly satisfied with their healthcare services than those in employer-sponsored plans."

 

 

The poll also noted that age was a contributing factor in respondents' view on healthcare reform. In general, younger adults were more positive about health reform than older consumers. According to the survey, more than half (51%) of 18 to 34 year olds believed that the reform bill will reduce healthcare costs in the long term, compared with respondents 45 to 54 years old (23%), 55 to 64 years old (36%) and 65 years old and above (30%).

 

 

"Younger consumers are beginning to embrace a new norm for health care," said Keckley. "Those in the younger age groups, (18 to 44 years old), are increasingly aware that the healthcare reform process has many moving parts, and that they may find themselves entering into a new pact with employers."

 

 

Additional key findings from the survey included:

  • 84% of all consumers surveyed have health insurance;
  • More than half (56%) of those surveyed believed that incentives for doctors and hospitals to use electronic medical records will be effective or very effective at improving the overall performance of the healthcare system;
  • 60% believed that cutting the rate of growth of Medicare costs will be only somewhat or not at all effective at improving the overall performance of the healthcare system;
  • 69% believed the issue is not whether an organization is for-profit or not-for-profit — it's what the organization does that matters; and
  • 61% of respondents agreed that a mix of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations stimulates positive competition and innovation.

 

View the full results here.

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