Health Care Survey: Confident or Sick of Talking About it?

We love our surveys. And with the state of health care in America, there’s plenty to talk about.

The latest health care survey from Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reports the following.

  • Americans remain confident about health care
  • About health care costs – not so much

This was following the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Funny, when I read the details, confidence is not the word that springs to mind.

Rating the Health Care System

800 phone surveys make up the 15th annual Health Confidence Survey.

The graph below depicts the responses from repondents when asked how they would rate the health care system.


Source: 2012 Health Confidence Survey, EBRI

According to the results, 45% rated the health care system as Good or better, while 54% rated it Fair or worse.


The report also noted that between 1999 and 2004, the percentage of respondents rating the system as Poor doubled from 15% to 30%.

The rating that scores the Confident label has to do with the respondents’ own health plans.

  • 57% who have coverage rate their satisfaction level as Excellent or Very Satisfied
  • 32% are Somewhat satisfied
  • 10% are Not too or Not at all satisfied

Still not a ringing endorsement.

Primary Focus

Now here’s something that you’ll find shocking – dissatisfaction is focused on cost.

According to the survey, this is a good news/bad news response.

  • 85% report they take better care of themselves due to the increasing cost
  • 67% say they choose generic drugs more often
  • 58% report carefully reviewing options with their physician
  • 54% only visit their physician for more serious conditions/symptoms

I find myself somewhat skeptical of the first point. Hopeful – but skeptical.

Some of the fallout from the increasing costs include the following.

  • 31% decreased contributions to retirement
  • 53% decreased contributions to other savings

Increasing health care costs have resulted in financial consequences (e.g., increasing debt, depletion of savings).

How would you rate your health plan?

How about the health care system?

Or are you tired of talking about it?


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Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.



  1. says

    Did the survey discuss those of us who are technically insured (by paying through the nose for high-deductible private policies that don’t cover vision, dental, psychiatric, etc…), but still can’t afford healthcare? Of the people I know, we seem to be the majority.

    I’d say: We seem to have a great healthcare system – for those who can afford to take advantage of it.

    As for my health own care plan? I couldn’t tell you if it’s good or bad. I’ve never yet reached my deductible, so I don’t know what they would actually cover once it’s their turn to cough up the cash. When nearly everything is out-of-pocket, you tend to visit doctors as seldom as possible. One thing I can say about my plan is that each year my premiums go up by many times the rate of inflation.

    • Cathy says

      I hear you, Paula. I was so spoiled by 30+ years of being in the industry and having good coverage. Now, I’m the individual business owner of *ahem* seasoned age with a high deductible and higher premiums.

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