If more U.S. households are feeling squeezed by the cost of healthcare this year, they aren't showing it, according to a new Gallup poll.
By most indicators, U.S. households have reason to fret over the cost of healthcare. The number of households with high deductibles continues to grow. Wages have not recovered from the recession. As of this year, the uninsured must get a health plan under Obamacare.
But 57% of adults surveyed by Gallup in early November reported they were generally satisfied with the total cost of their healthcare. That is largely unchanged from last year and the years before. During the last decade, the figure has averaged 58%.
November's survey found 41% were dissatisfied with the total cost of their healthcare and 2% said they had no opinion.
The quality of healthcare also rated highly among surveyed adults. Nearly eight out of 10 (79%) said they received excellent or good healthcare. That's the same as last year. On average, 81% of respondents said their care was excellent or good.
The survey included anyone ages 18 or older and, perhaps not surprisingly, adults who are ages 65 or older and eligible for Medicare are far more satisfied than younger adults, Gallup staffer Andrew Dugan reported.
About three-quarters of adults (77%) ages 65 or older said they were satisfied with the cost of their care, a rate sharply higher than any other age group.
Indeed, those with Medicare, Medicaid or other alternatives to private insurance were far more likely to be satisfied with their healthcare costs (74%) than the privately insured (58%) or uninsured (28%), Dugan reported.
The poll joins a stream of data that so far has created a muddled picture of the first year of insurance expansion under Obamacare. The law's drive to reduce the number of uninsured depends heavily on consumers' willingness to buy health plans.
The law offers incentives for shoppers and millions of people entered new exchanges to buy coverage for this year, though the total dropped to 6.7 million from 8 million as the year progressed. Consumers are now shopping for a second year in the exchanges in an enrollment period that extends through Feb. 15.
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