The buzzwords in health care these days are customization, â€śconsumerizationâ€? and consumer-driven care. Many Americans, however, are experiencing anything but customer satisfaction with their insurance companies. Only 1 in 4 say they're â€śvery satisfiedâ€? with their medical insurance coverage, according to a 2001 Yankelovich poll. Nearly half say that â€śover the past five years it has become more of a hassle to deal with my health-care planâ€? (45 percent) and that insurers and HMOs are most responsible for the problems in the health-care system in this country (47 percent). Overall, the public's discontent is directed more at â€śthe systemâ€? than at their own health-care plans.
Despite the general atmosphere of frustration with the health-care industry, most Americans still say they're happy with their own personal health-care plan. According to a December 2001 Harris Interactive survey, two-thirds of Americans give their own plan a grade of A or B. Three-fourths said they would recommend their plan to someone who is healthy, and 68 percent would recommend it to friends or family with a serious or chronic illness.
However, this rosy picture is marred by the sizable number of Americans who say otherwise. While 29 percent gave their plan an all-out A, almost 1 in 3 adults (31 percent) gave their plan a grade of C, D or F. More Medicaid than Medicare beneficiaries gave their plans such low marks (31 percent versus 24 percent). These grades have changed little since 1999, when Harris first began asking these questions.
Oddly, almost half of the people without any health insurance at all are satisfied with the quality of health care in America.
Are you satisfied with the quality of health care in the U.S.?
|Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) holders||57%|
|Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) holders||53%|
|Without any health insurance||49%|
|Source: Gallup, September 2000|