‘2011 Health Confidence Survey: Most Americans Unfamiliar With Key Aspect of Health Reform,’ and ‘Is There a Future for Retirement?’

September 2011, Vol. 32, No. 9
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 899 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2011

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Executive Summary

2011 Health Confidence Survey: Most Americans Unfamiliar With Key Aspect of Health Reform


THE LATEST HCS: Findings from the 2011 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) demonstrate that, despite the passage of health reform a year ago, most Americans are unfamiliar with health insurance exchanges, a key aspect of the health reform law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, or PPACA). Furthermore, dissatisfaction with the American health care system remains widespread; while confidence regarding various aspects of today’s health care system is not high, it has neither fallen nor increased as a result of passage of health reform.


OWN PLANS ARE RATED HIGHLY: Americans’ ratings of their own health plan are generally favorable. Sixty percent of those with health insurance coverage are extremely or very satisfied with their current plan, and 29 percent are somewhat satisfied, the HCS finds.


DOUBTS ABOUT FUTURE OF HEALTH BENEFITS: Confidence in the future availability of employment-based health benefits has increased compared with longer-term levels. In 2011, 57 percent of individuals with employment-based coverage reported that they were extremely or very confident that their (or their spouse’s) employer or union would continue to offer health insurance. While this is up from 52 percent in 2010, the percentage who are extremely or very confident has not reached levels seen 10 years ago. Confidence was as high as 68 percent in 2000.


Is There a Future for Retirement?


EBRI’S 68TH POLICY FORUM: This article summarizes the presentations and discussions at the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s May 12, 2011, policy forum, on the topic: “Is There a Future for Retirement?” This was EBRI’s 68th policy forum and was attended by about 120 policy and professional experts.


WORKING LONGER: Various reports in recent years suggest that working an extra two or three years would solve the problem of inadequate retirement savings for most people, but this has not been well documented or quantified. New EBRI research presented at the policy forum addressed that question with comprehensive data from its Retirement Security Projection Model.®


IMPLICATIONS: A broad range of experts discussed a variety of key issues related to America’s aging work force and the implications of working longer. These include such issues as whether financially feasible retirement ages can be kept within acceptable ranges, and the implications of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers working past age 65.