Despite one-third of respondents not having health insurance, a new Gallup poll finds that approximately 66% of Americans are satisfied with the current health system as more expected changes from the Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandate continue their rollout.

When asked to measure the satisfaction of how the current healthcare system is functioning, approximately two-thirds of the 1,500 adults surveyed report satisfaction while 32% were reportedly dissatisfied with how the system is working for them. Of those who said they felt satisfied, approximately 72% have health insurance, according to the Gallup poll.

The Washington, D.C.-based research organization states that 59% of the displeased cohort did not have health insurance.

A respondent’s age also shifted optimism for the current health system. The findings note that younger Americans – aged between 18 to 29 – and seniors in the 65-years-old and older bracket reported having the highest level of satisfaction. For the middle-aged group, which is situated between 30 to 49 and 50 to 49, they reported more dissatisfaction at the current system.

Gallup notes that the benefits of Medicare for the senior population and the higher level of health – therefore lower premiums – help to explain the younger population’s satisfaction.

While referencing that most Americans do not believe the health care system is in flux, Gallup researchers explain that a “clear majority” now say they disapprove of the ACA.

“Their disapproval could be because many don't see the need to change the system, and worry that the new legislation will affect a process they currently are satisfied with,” Gallup researchers state in the March 17-released report. “President Barack Obama famously argued that under the ACA, those who liked their existing health insurance could keep it. However, in recent months, he has had to backtrack from that statement as news reports suggest that under the new law, some insured Americans may face changes in their policies, including coverage and cost

Last week, despite changes to policies and cost, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reported that the percentage of individuals obtaining their health insurance from their current or former employers dropped by two percentage points to 43.14% in 2014’s first quarter. However, the March 10 report states that the percentage of the national sample without health insurance declined to 15.9%, a nearly 1.2% drop since the end of 2013.

According to the prior Gallup and Healthways study, the uninsured rate is likely to continue its decline as the open enrollment period at ACA marketplaces is set to close March 31. With approximately 4 million having already signed up, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, researchers highlight the health insured rate will hold steady due to President Barack Obama’s administration’s recent call to extend old health insurance policies.

Monday, the study states that this satisfaction may be “one of the headwinds facing broad acceptance of the ACA.”

“When a system is seen as working well, it is usually more difficult to propose major changes to it – particularly when those affect may be worried about unanticipated or negative consequences from those changes,” the March 10-15 Gallup study states.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit News becomes archived within a week of it being published

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access