SURVEY SAYS: Are You Satisfied With Your Health Care?

September 29, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The 2011 Health Confidence Survey published yesterday noted that Americans are, overall, not very happy with our healthcare system. 

However, that same 2011 Health Confidence Survey revealed that more than half were either extremely or very satisfied with THEIR health plan (see http://www.plansponsor.com/Confidence_in_US_Health_System_Remains_Low.aspx). 

This week, I asked readers how satisfied they were with their health plan – and what one thing they’d like to change about it. 

The vast majority of this week’s respondents were, in fact, satisfied with their health care plan.  A plurality (35.6%) were very satisfied, and nearly a quarter (23.3%) were extremely satisfied. 

Another 28.8% said they were “somewhat” satisfied.

Just 8.2% said they were “not too satisfied”, and the remaining 4.1% were in the “not at all satisfied” camp.

I also asked readers how they thought the employees at their company/employer felt about the health care plan – and here, as one might expect – things slipped off a bit. 

  

 

Now, more than one-in-four (41.1%) said that they were “somewhat satisfied”, while nearly as many (38.4%) thought they were “very satisfied.”

On the other hand, just 6.8% thought employees were “extremely satisfied”, while 8.2% said they were “not too satisfied”, though a mere 1.4% thought they were “not at all satisfied.”

The remaining 4%?  Said they had no idea.

I also asked readers how their 2012 health care negotiations were/had progressed. 

  

 

For most –about 64% - they had gone about as expected.  As for the rest, about 7% each said they had gone “better than expected”, or “worse than expected.” 

The remaining few – said they had no expectations.

And then, I asked readers what, if anything, they would change about their plan.  Here’s a sampling:

  

Since we're self-funded, how about having more HEALTHY employees part of the plan?

To be able to choose whatever doctor or dentist I prefer without being penalized.

There is a cap on wellness benefits (it is a grandfathered plan) and these are the benefits I and my family members always use.

Remove 10% co-insurance recently added.

Find some way to make it clear what is and isn't covered.

Bring back the HMOs and more flexible choices.

Make it so if two different types of doctors BOTH say a procedure is necessary, the insurance company be required to approve it. As my doctor said, it's ridiculous that you can have letters from a doctor and a surgeon explaining why a procedure needs to be done per their education and experience, yet some snot nosed imbecile who barely graduated high school can deny it.

Expansion of preventative care, especially testing. exercise and nutritional counseling, PHARMACEUTICAL COUNSELING.

The cost of Stop Loss Insurance.

I would eliminate the requirement to use a mail order pharmacy to get our medications. I prefer going to a druggist who knows me. There is not enough space here for me to relate the challenges I've had dealing with the mail order company.

Premiums.

Lower copay for urgent care visits.

Communicating clearly and promptly how much of our deductible amount has been used.

The system of referrals and approvals for every little test, procedure, etc. could be simplified and sped up. It took two weeks just to get insurance to okay a prescription recommended by both my primary care doctor and a specialist. That was time for an insurance official, whom I've never seen, who knows nothing about my condition (as far as I know) to decide whether or not I can have medication (and no, it was not for a controlled substance or a drug with the potential for addiction or abuse.)

 

No deductibles

Of course, I would rather pay no portion of the cost.  Even though my portion is a measly $7 per week.  I know I am lucky to have this great coverage -- and worried due to a company merger that I will lose the great coverage in either 2012 or 2013.  Here's hoping the powers that be decide that keeping the client happy with our participation is worth the added cost of that plan vs. the corporate nightmare coverage that is offered by the new parent company.

Nothing. My plan is great. Of course, I'm young and in perfect health, so what do I know?

Nothing specific to my health care plan, I just wish my company had some incentives around wellness programs. I think that would go a long way to reducing health care costs overall.

Lower co-pays for MRI's

No deductible

Having the medical facility directly in my town.

I would like to see smoother claims processing.  They are so quick to deny claims.

 

I'd remove coverage for contraceptives.  Our plan does not cover abortions.  I don't think people understand that contraceptives are an abortifacient.  Therefore, it doesn't make sense to cover contraceptives.

Sliding scale to match premium paid to salary.  The plan is very rich with a low maximum out of pocket and therefore protects all equally, but to keep overall costs down seems fairer to have equity in premiums paid since it is a self-insured plan.

Lower the prescription drug co-pays

The continuing higher burden on employees even when overall costs decrease.

The high costs.

We offer two levels of PPO and two locations also have an HMO choice. I would happily eliminate one of the HMOs because I think they are completely incompetent. With the plan I am on, I would probably just make it less expensive if I had a magic wand. Otherwise, I am pretty happy with it (the other HMO).

Move to multiple high-deductible plans and provide telephonic as well as online services for employees to access information on the cost of procedures and advocacy on how to access quality and cost-effective health care providers.  Incorporate an incentive based wellness program which put significant money at risk for employees to take responsibility and act on their health condition.

 

"Our dental is terrible.

We need a vision plan.  (oops that's 2; I guess I don't like our health plan)"

higher health fund limits for family coverage

Have them offer incentives for folks to get healthy and/or stay healthy...incentives to lose weight or exercise regularly.  Of course, how you'd enforce that or check on it I have no idea.

nothing,

Offer an option for couples. Right now we only have single or family options.

But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “You won't believe this, but I'd change nothing about the PLAN. It's great. I'd love to change participant expectation of the PLAN”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!

  

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