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Fear of ever-growing health care costs leads the way in Kaiser&s latest Health Security Watch health poll report.
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Fear of ever-growing health care costs leads the way in Kaiser's latest Health Security Watch health poll report.
Since December 1999, the Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health "Health News Index" survey has asked a series of questions designed to measure whether people are worried or not worried about their own health care needs over the next six months. Here are highlights from the latest report.
Overall, the public appears to be fairly concerned about health care issues, with around two-thirds reporting that they are at least somewhat worried that the amount they pay for health care will increase over the next six months. Just as common is the fear that health plans will care more about saving money than about what is best for members, but cost concerns are more intense. Somewhat fewer people report being worried that the quality of health care they receive will get worse, and the majority are fairly confident they'll have access to necessary health care services over the next six months.
As might be expected, people with lower incomes worry more about their own health care than their higher-income counterparts. Those with the lowest incomes (under $20,000 a year) showed a particularly sharp increase in overall worry between December 2002 and February 2003.
More Americans are far more worried about health care costs than about losing their job, paying their rent or mortgage, losing money in the stock market or being a victim of a terrorist attack.
Nearly four in 10 Americans say they are very worried that the amount they pay for health care services or health insurance will increase, and a similar share is very worried that their income might not keep up with rising prices over the next six months. Serious concern about health care quality and access was also more common than worries about terrorism, investments or job loss.
Please click here to review Kaiser's entire report in detail.
More Business & Health Articles on This Topic:
A Closer Look At Cost Sharing (Oct. 24, 2002)
With Health Care Costs Skyrocketing, What's an Employer to Do? (Jul. 15, 2002)
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