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In carriers we (don’t) trust

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What do carriers have in common with oil companies and the tobacco industry?

Every one of them is among the least trusted industries in the eyes of consumers.

In news that might encourage carriers to consider their New Year’s resolutions, a Harris poll of 2,250 adults found that just 7 percent trust the health insurance industry. Only 6 percent said they trusted managed care companies, such as HMOs.

Though still dismal, trust for life insurance companies and big pharma — both at 10 percent — fared a little better.

In context, health insurance barely managed to edge out the least trusted industries: Three percent of Americans said they trust tobacco companies, while 4 percent said they trust oil companies.

Hospitals were much more trusted among Americans, with 28 percent saying they view them as trustworthy.

A third (34 percent) of Americans said health insurance should be more regulated by government. They also shared that same sentiment toward pharmaceuticals (39 percent) and managed care companies (24 percent).

Still, the percentage of Americans who want health insurance and managed care more regulated actually dropped 6 points from last year, possibly in line with a drop in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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