Americans' Satisfaction With Healthcare Quality and Costs

More than half of Americans may be satisfied with the total cost they pay for healthcare, but cost remains the biggest issue people have with healthcare overall in the United States.

More than half of Americans may be satisfied with the total cost they pay for healthcare, but cost remains the biggest issue people have with healthcare overall in the United States. In a series of polls, Gallup found that Americans name healthcare costs as the top health problem—surpassing access to care—facing the nation. A poll found that Americans are more likely to be positive about their own healthcare costs than the costs nationwide.

While 56% of Americans said they are satisfied with the cost of their own care, only 19% said they were satisfied with the cost of healthcare nationally. This was a pattern. A Gallup poll found that Americans consistently were fair more satisfied with their own healthcare than across the country. While 76% said their own healthcare quality was excellent or good, only 55% said the same about healthcare nationally; 65% rated their healthcare coverage as excellent or good but only 33% said the same about the issue nationally.

The gap between personal and national perceptions of healthcare quality, coverage, and cost has been prevalent since 2001. This trend isn’t isolated to healthcare, though. There is a similar divergence between local and national viewpoints in education, crime, and government, according to Gallup.

A separate Gallup poll found that 27% of Americans name healthcare costs as the top health issue in the US, followed by access (20%). These 2 issues consistently rank at the top of the list. High concern over healthcare costs is driven by those with a college degree. Gallup found that 37% of college graduates consider cost the most urgent healthcare problem compared with 27% of people with some college and 19% of people with a high school education or less.

Finally, a third Gallup poll analyzed dissatisfaction among Americans regarding their healthcare costs. While 56% of people were satisfied with their healthcare costs, satisfaction ranges depending on the type of insurance people have. People with Medicaid or Medicare are far more likely to be satisfied (69%) than people with private insurance (52%) or those with no insurance (31%).

Dissatisfaction with healthcare costs (42%) is up from an average of 38% from 2011 to 2013. Interestingly, dissatisfaction didn’t vary much depending on household income. The same amount (48% each) of adults with household income of $75,000 or more or household income of $30,000 to $74,999 were dissatisfied with healthcare costs, and 45% of adults with household incomes less than $30,000 reported being dissatisfied.