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Dissatisfaction with Health Insurance Despite Positive Ratings

Personal experiences with the health care system are a key factor in Americans’ opinions on how the health care system should function and their expectations of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will change the system when fully implemented. In order to take a closer look at these personal experiences, this post explores findings from the March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll on Americans’ views of their health care and coverage, including health insurance ratings and satisfaction with cost, quality and access to new treatments. Overall, the data suggests that while most like their health insurance, there remain areas of dissatisfaction, primarily centered on cost.

The vast majority of people with insurance rate their coverage highly, but even when the ratings are positive, they do not report being completely satisfied. Fully nine in ten say their health insurance is “excellent” (32 percent) or “good” (58 percent). While among those that say their coverage is “excellent,” just nine percent report being dissatisfied with health care costs. Dissatisfaction increases among those with “good” coverage, where almost a third (31 percent) report being dissatisfied with costs, 12 percent are dissatisfied with their ability to get the latest treatments, and six percent are dissatisfied with the quality of care they receive. Not surprisingly, 70 percent of those rating their health coverage as “poor” express dissatisfaction with costs, 41 percent report dissatisfaction with their quality of care, and 39 percent say they are dissatisfied with their access to new treatments.

Overall, while just 14 percent of those that rate their health insurance as “excellent” reported dissatisfaction to at least one of the questions on cost, quality or access to new treatments, closer to four in ten of those who rated their coverage as “good” report dissatisfaction. These findings demonstrate that positive health insurance ratings do not necessarily translate to fully satisfied consumers and suggest that public opinion of the ACA will be tied in part to their personal health care costs.

Some Dissatisfaction Despite Positive Ratings