Medicare What's Buzzing

Americans are more satisfied with Medicare than with private insurance

Written by Diane Archer
According to a new Gallup poll, people with government-provided health insurance, including people with Medicare and VA coverage, are more satisfied with their health care coverage than other Americans.  Almost four out of five people 65 and older are satisfied with their treatment by the health care system (79 percent of people with Medicare, Medicaid and VA coverage) as compared with about three out of five people between 18 and 45 (61-66 percent).
More specifically, people without health insurance are the least satisfied with the health care system (36 percent). People with military or veterans coverage are the most satisfied (77 percent) and people with Medicare or Medicaid are the next most satisfied (76 percent).

For this survey, Gallup was not able to separate out satisfaction rates for people newly insured in the health insurance exchanges.  They plan to do so in future polls as soon as practicable.

The survey also does not speak to the reasons why people over 65 are more satisfied with the health care system than the rest of the population.  Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, speculates it’s because Medicare and Medicaid coverage are easier to use than private insurance and in most cases provides better protection against financial risk.  “For sure, Congress can improve Medicare.  But, compared with the hassles of referrals and huge copays and deductibles with private insurance, Medicare is relatively simple.”




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