Most Patients Satisfied with Medicare
Patients on Medicare are likelier to be more satisfied with their benefits and access to coverage than are patients who have bought their own insurance or have coverage from their employer, according to new research.
Just 8 percent of Medicare beneficiaries rated the program’s quality as “fair or poor,” compared with 20 percent of people with individually purchased insurance and 33 percent of those with insurance from their employer. The respondents rated their programs in terms of access to care and cost.
The figures come from a survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit health-policy organization. They were published in the journal “Health Affairs.”
In commenting on the results, the Commonwealth Fund researchers wrote, "The evidence reported here ... shows that Medicare is doing a better job than employer-sponsored plans at fulfilling the two main purposes of health insurance: ensuring access to care and providing financial protection. Policymakers should consider these findings when determining what options should be available to people buying insurance through the state exchanges mandated to begin in 2014."
The survey also showed differences within the Medicare program. Those under the fee-for-service plan were more satisfied with cost and coverage than were those in the Medicare Advantage Plan. Nearly one third of those on the advantage plan said they had skipped medication, seeing a primary care provider or a specialist and skipping followup visits.