A new consumer poll by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found that 41 percent of consumers believe health reform will help foster economic recovery in the United States, while one out of four (25 percent) believe it will have a negative effect.
Additionally, 38 percent of consumers are not at all knowledgeable about the components of the new health reform law; 64 percent give the current health care system a grade of “C” or below, and 67 percent think fraud has a major influence on driving up the overall cost of health care.
“Since 2008, we have surveyed consumers about their assessment of the U.S. health care system,” said Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. “Consumers remain mixed in their assessment of the system’s performance, concerned about costs, and supportive of changes that improve its value.”
Demonstrating the difference in opinions based on the age of respondents, nearly 80 percent of younger adults aged 18-24 years old think health reform will actually have a positive effect on economic recovery. In contrast, only 30 percent of adults aged 55-64 years old and 34 percent of adults 65 years old and older think it will have a positive effect.
“Our survey findings indicate that the views of respondents are dramatically different based on age,” added Keckley. “Younger adults tend to be more optimistic about the impact of health reform, while older adults tend to be more skeptical.”
The cost of health care continues to be an issue for many. More than one-third (36 percent) of consumers say they are financially prepared to handle future health care costs, compared with 17 percent who say they are unprepared. Only 5 percent of young adults aged 18-24 years old say they are financially unprepared, likely because under the new health reform bill, they can remain on their parents’ coverage until they reach the age of 26. Consumers think health insurance company costs (70 percent), hospital costs (69 percent), and prescription drugs (61 percent) are major influences on driving overall health care system costs.
“When it comes to what consumers pay for health insurance, 37 percent believe that more than 20 percent of their premium dollars is a reasonable amount to cover insurance plan overhead costs, reflecting their understanding of administrative costs associated with their operation,” Keckley said.
Eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in the system
Forty-three percent of consumers think health reform will have help eliminate waste, fraud, or abuse of the health care system, while 21 percent think it will have a negative effect. Fifty-five percent of younger adults (18-24 and 25-34 years old) think it will have a positive effect, while more than one out of four of those 65 years old and older (29 percent) think it will have a negative effect.