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Health Care Confidence 
by: Dan Fogel

According to a recent study by Employee Benefit Research Institute, Senior Americans are more satisfied with the quality of health care than they have ever been.  At the same time, Seniors are concerned about the future of health care.  Some of the study's findings:  

Some of the survey's key findings: 

  • Forty-six percent of those who have received health care in the past two years say they are extremely or very satisfied with the care they received, up from 39 percent in 2000. However, only 34 percent are extremely or very confident that they will be able to get the treatments they need over the next 10 years. 
  • Only 2 in 10 respondents not yet eligible for Medicare are extremely or very confident that they will be able to get the treatments they need once they are eligible for Medicare (21 percent) or that they will have enough choice about who provides their medical care (18 percent). 
  • Thirty-one percent of respondents said they are extremely or very satisfied with the cost of their health insurance, up from 24 percent in 2000. This may be because employers have absorbed the majority of the latest increases in health insurance premiums. 
  • Most respondents receiving health insurance through an employment- based plan are satisfied with their current health insurance plan, with 11 percent reporting being extremely satisfied and 41 percent very satisfied. 
  • If their employer were to stop offering health insurance coverage to its workers, more than half of those with employment-based coverage indicate they would be extremely (30 percent) or very (25 percent) likely to purchase insurance coverage on their own. Twenty-one percent say they would be somewhat likely to purchase it. However almost one-fourth (23 percent) say they would be not too (11 percent) or not at all (12 percent) likely to purchase coverage on their own. 
  • Respondents without insurance are generally willing or able to pay only a small amount toward the cost of health insurance. Five percent are willing to pay less than $25 a month; 9 percent are willing to pay $25-$49 a month; 29 percent are willing to pay $50- $99; and 27 percent are willing to pay $100-$149. Only 1 in 10 uninsured are willing to pay $200 or more. 
  • The majority of uninsured Americans continue to be unaware of state subsidized health insurance. Only 31 say they have heard about any low-cost or free insurance programs for uninsured adults or children in their state, down from 37 percent in 2000.



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