Most Americans Satisfied with Their Health Plans, Poll Finds
Although previous surveys have found that most Americans have "negative views" of managed care, and therefore favor patients' rights legislation, the majority of American adults with health coverage continue to "think well" of their own health plans, including employer-provided plans, Medicare and Medicaid, a new Harris Poll finds. According to a telephone survey of 927 insured adults conducted in December 2001, 67% of those with employer-provided plans graded their plans with an A or B, while only 8% gave their plans a D or F. In addition, 75% of those with employer-provided plans said they would "recommend their plans" to healthy family or friends, while 68% said they would recommend their plan to family or friends with a "serious or chronic illness." The survey found that Medicare beneficiaries were "somewhat more satisfied" with their health coverage than Medicaid beneficiaries or those with employer-sponsored coverage. Only 24% of Medicare beneficiaries graded their plans with a C, D, or F, while 31% of Medicaid beneficiaries and those with employer-sponsored coverage gave their plans similar grades. Of Medicare beneficiaries, 18% said they would not recommend their health coverage to a healthy family member or friend, compared to 31% of Medicaid beneficiaries who said the same thing. According to Harris Poll and Harris Interactive Chair Humphrey Taylor, the percentage of adults who are satisfied with their health plans has remained consistent in the surveys conducted over the last three years. Still, he said that the health insurance industry should not "be satisfied with the situation where only 29% of the public rate their plans as an A, and only a third of the public (34%) would definitely" recommend their plans to family or friends. Taylor added that although the numbers are "not nearly as bad as one might have expected," they are not "nearly as good as they could and should be" (Harris Poll release, 1/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.