Less than half of those with employer-provided health insurance said they "know
exactly" how much their health insurance premiums cost, according to the
results of an online poll conducted for the The Wall Street Journal Online's
Health Industry Edition by the Harris Poll.
Here's how the polling went on several questions related to health insurance:
- "Do you know exactly how much you pay for your monthly health insurance
premium?" Of all insured adults--including those with employer-provided
insurance, the self-insured, and those receiving Medicare, 46 percent said
they knew "exactly." The figure was 45 percent for those with employer-provided
- "Do you know exactly how much you pay each time you visit a doctor?"
Those answering yes accounted for 60 percent of all insured adults; among
those with employer-provided insurance, it was 72 percent.
- "Do you know exactly how you pay each time you buy a drug with a doctor's
prescription?" Among all insured adults, 56 percent answered yes; among
those with employer-provided insurance, 62 percent answered yes.
- "Do you know exactly how much you pay for your deductibles?" Among
all insured adults, 50 percent answered yes; among those with employer-provided
insurance, 54 percent answered yes.
- "How difficult is it to pay health insurance premiums?" Very difficult:
5 percent for all insured, 3 percent for those with employer-based insurance.
Somewhat difficult: 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Not very difficult:
27 percent and 31 percent. Not at all difficult: 41 percent and 50 percent.
Don't pay: 11 percent and 4 percent.
"The good news is that most people do not find it difficult to pay their
insurance premiums or out-of-pocket costs. The bad news is that those who find
it very difficult up to 20 million adults include many sick, low-income
people who really need the care," says Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The
Harris Poll at Harris Interactive.
The study was conducted online within the United States between February 23
and 25, 2004 among a nationwide cross section of 2,183 adults, ages 18 years
and over. Figures for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income and region
were weighted where necessary to align with population proportions.
Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity
to be online. Harris Interactive estimates the results have a statistical precision
of ±3.0 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. adult
population had been polled with complete accuracy.
To access a PDF of the poll, with complete data tables, visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/newsletters_wsj.asp.