Most Americans aged 45 to 64 are somewhat or very satisfied with their health care plans

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research collaborates with Prevention on study of attitudes about health insurance

Ninety-two percent of Americans ages 45 to 64 say they would keep their current health care plans unless premium prices increase significantly, according to a new nationwide poll by Prevention and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

In addition, 90 percent of those surveyed said they were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their current health care.

“What the poll convincingly shows is that Americans do not perceive their health care system as ‘broken,’” said Gerald Kominski, director of the center. “They are satisfied with the coverage they have, but they do worry about costs.”

The poll results were published just a week after the presidential election, in which a key issue was the possible repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The repeal could result in the loss of coverage for up to 24 million people, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The publication also comes in the midst of the nation’s open enrollment season, when people can choose or change health insurance plans for the following year.

In the study, more than 400 men and women who have health insurance were asked a variety of questions about where they get their insurance, how they shop for insurance, their estimated financial spending on health care and their attitudes toward their current insurance plan.

Among the key findings:

  • More than 43 percent of respondents report being “very satisfied” with their current insurance plan, and more than 90 percent say they are at least “somewhat satisfied.”
  • Ninety-two percent of respondents would keep their exact health plans if the cost stayed the same, but only 54 percent of respondents would do so if the price increased by 15 percent.
  • Forty-one percent of respondents have spent more than $1,000 on medical expenses so far in 2016, including co-pays, deductibles, prescriptions, doctor visits and other medical bills not covered by insurance. Ten percent of respondents have spent $5,000 or more.
  • Four in 10 respondents spend the same or more on health care expenses as they do on their rent or mortgage.
  • One in five respondents report feeling nervous about going to the doctor or getting a test because their deductibles are high, and 17 percent have delayed seeking treatment or filling a prescription as a result.

“Finding the health insurance plan that’s right for you can seem incredibly overwhelming,” said Barbara O’Dair, editor-in-chief of Prevention. “With this story and survey we try to break it down for readers in a way that will be empowering for them."

The survey was conducted during the last week of September. UCLA researchers weighted the results. Some of the study’s results appear in the December issue of Prevention magazine as part of an extensive guide to choosing a health insurance plan. 

Members of the media may email or call the UCLA media contact for the full results.

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