For a majority of Americans, the cost of healthcare is less important than its quality, according to an annual survey by the Washington-based Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Some 57% of respondents said they were extremely or well-satisfied with the quality of care they receive. Only 28% of respondents, however, were satisfied with the cost of health insurance, and only 21% were satisfied with healthcare costs outside of insurance plans.
Cost also influenced healthcare decisions. For example, 79% of respondents said price affected whether they would buy a generic drug over a name-brand one, and 71% said that they take better care of themselves to prevent hospital visits. Some 21% said high costs could lead them to forgo prescribed medications and almost half said that they had delayed going to a doctor.
In addition, increased costs seem to have disproportionately fallen on lower-income Americans, who were less likely to express satisfaction with healthcare and more likely to report shifting resources or changing healthcare use to cope with cost increases.