However, workers’ ratings of their own health plans continue to be generally favorable, according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Mathew Greenwald & Associates. One-half (51%) of those with health insurance coverage say they are extremely or very satisfied.
Six in 10 workers (61%) with health insurance coverage report having experienced an increase in health care costs in the past year. Among those experiencing cost increases in their plans in the past year, 32% state they have decreased their contributions to retirement plans, and more than half (57%) have decreased their contributions to other savings as a result.
Two in 10 (22%) also report they have had difficulty paying for basic necessities such as food, heat and housing, while 38% say they have had difficulty paying other bills. More than one-quarter (27%) say they have used up all or most of their savings, 33% have increased their credit card debt, and 16% report they have borrowed money.
Nearly 80% of respondents say increased costs lead them to try to take better care of themselves, and 70% indicate they choose generic drugs more often. More than one-half also say they go to the doctor only for more serious conditions or symptoms (61%), talk to the doctor more carefully about treatment options and costs (53%), and delay going to the doctor (53%).
Workers continue to be generally confident that their employers or unions will continue to offer health insurance in the future, the survey found. Twenty-eight percent report they are extremely confident their employers or unions will continue to offer coverage, 37% are very confident, and 28% are somewhat confident. Only 6% are not too confident and 2% are not at all confident that their employers or unions will continue to offer health insurance.
More findings of the survey can be found in the latest issue of EBRI Notes at www.ebri.org.