Poll: Americans Fret More about Expensive Health Care than Terrorism

April 25, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - In a compelling demonstration of the depth of Americans' worries about health care costs, a new survey finds Americans fretting more about those medical expenses than being a terrorist attack victim.

The national Kaiser Health Poll Report , updated every other month, found that 49% of respondents pronounced themselves “very worried” about paying more for health care or health insurance while 19% feared a terrorist attack and 18% were most worried about being a violent crime victim.

Topping the worry list in the latest Kaiser data were:

  • not being able to afford the health care you think you need – 42%
  • not being able to afford the prescription drugs you need – 35%
  • the quality of health care services you receive getting worse – 32%

Among the non-health care worries popping up in the “very worried” column were:

  • your income not keeping up with prices – 46%
  • not being able to pay your rent or mortgage – 29%
  • losing your savings in the stock market – 20%

Among the employed, 23% were most concerned about losing their job while among those both employed and insured, 21% said they fretted about having to stay in a current job for fear of losing health benefits.

The full report is online at http://www.kff.org/healthpollreport . Findings for the current survey are based on a national random sample of 1,203 adults with the polling conducted March 31 to April 3, 2005.