Most Americans grateful for their job's health coverage, but still struggle with healthcare costs

Most people with employer-sponsored insurance are generally happy with their health plans, but many still struggle with healthcare affordability, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation/Los Angeles Times survey.

The September and October survey of adults with employer-sponsored coverage was based on interviews with about 1,400 Americans between the ages of 18 and 64. All respondents reported having coverage from an employer or union (excluding those with health insurance through a parent's employer).

Twelve survey findings:

1. Forty-one percent of respondents reported having plans with high deductibles.

2. Twenty percent of respondents reported having deductibles between $1,500 and $2,999 for an individual or between $3,000 and $4,999 for a family.

3. Twenty-one percent of respondents reported having deductibles of at least $3,000 for an individual or $5,000 for a family.

4. More than half of respondents (54 percent) said they or another family member covered by their health insurance has a chronic condition.

5. Sixty-eight percent of respondents gave their health plan a grade of "A" ("excellent") or “B” ("good").

6. When asked to describe how they feel about their coverage, 72 percent of respondents said “grateful” and 69 percent said “content.”

7. Twenty-six percent of respondents used the word "frustrated" to describe their feelings about their coverage and 23 percent used the word “confused.”

8. However, researchers noted that respondents' feelings greatly differed based on their deductibles, with 55 percent of people with the highest deductible plans giving their plan a grade of “C” ("average") or below.

9. Feelings about health plans also differed based on deductibles, with 58 percent of respondents with the highest deductible plans saying they feel “grateful,” and 50 percent of that group saying “content.”

10. Forty percent of respondents with the highest deductible plans said they feel “frustrated” about their coverage, while 34 percent in that group said they feel “confused."

11. Forty percent of respondents said they had problems paying medical bills or faced challenges affording their premium, deductible, copays, or a surprise medical bill for themselves or a family member in the past 12 months.

12. Among those who reported healthcare affordability challenges, 31 percent cited deductibles as the biggest healthcare affordability problem for them and their family, followed by surprise medical bills (23 percent).

Access the full survey findings here.


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