SHELTON, Conn., March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The majority of consumers around the world (60%) report they are very or somewhat satisfied with their healthcare coverage, according to new research with Survey Sampling International's global online panels. Germany (77%) and the UK (74%)—both of which have some form of universal healthcare coverage—show the highest levels of satisfaction. In contrast, Japan and China have the lowest levels of satisfaction, with just 35% of Japanese respondents and 39% of Chinese respondents saying they are very or somewhat satisfied with their coverage. The US results were most polarized. While 61% of Americans indicate they are very or somewhat satisfied with their coverage, 18%—more than any other country studied—fall at the opposite end of the spectrum, saying they are very or somewhat dissatisfied.
Although most US respondents say they are happy with their healthcare coverage, the majority—61%—also believe that coverage is somewhat or very unaffordable. Only China shows a higher percentage of consumers—87%—who say that healthcare coverage is not affordable. Germany and France have the fewest number of consumers—39% in each country—reporting they can't afford their healthcare coverage.
"Around the world, the cost of healthcare coverage is a major concern, with 52% of consumers globally finding the price unaffordable," says Chris DeAngelis, SSI's Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. "Even in Germany, which has the highest levels of overall satisfaction, almost two-fifths of consumers are struggling with coverage costs. The issue is actually worsening, as SSI research also shows the majority of consumers globally believe their healthcare costs are continuing to increase—and only 4% report they've experienced any decrease."
SSI's findings are based on a study of 4,000+ adults on its online panels. Countries covered include the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, China and Singapore. SSI offers extensive worldwide reach to support survey research through SSI Dynamix™, its dynamic sampling platform that links to its own online panels, as well as online communities, affiliate partnerships, social media and more.
Healthcare Costs Continue to Rise, with France Showing the Greatest Increases—and Governments
and Pharma Companies Most Often Cited as Responsible
In every country studied, except Japan, the majority of respondents report seeing healthcare costs rise over the last year. France shows the most dramatic increases, with 88% of consumers saying that healthcare costs have gone up in the past 12 months. A significant portion of Singaporeans (70%) also say they've experienced healthcare cost increases, as do 65% of Germans, 62% of Chinese, 61% of Australians and 55% of Americans.
In all countries but Germany, respondents view the government as the prime culprit in driving up healthcare costs. The percentage of consumers blaming their governments is particularly high in Japan (50%), Australia (47%), France (46%) and China (43%). In the US and Singapore, about a third of consumers point the finger at their governments.
In Germany, consumers name pharmaceutical companies as most culpable for rising costs, with 46% of respondents saying drug manufacturers are responsible for the rise in healthcare expenses. The US (22%), France (22%) and Singapore (21%) also have a significant number of respondents putting the blame on pharmaceutical companies.
About Survey Sampling International
Survey Sampling International (www.surveysampling.com) is the premier global provider of sampling solutions for survey research. SSI reaches respondents in 72 countries via Internet, telephone and mobile/wireless. Value-add services include questionnaire design consultation, programming and hosting, and data processing. SSI serves more than 2,000 clients, including 48 of the top 50 research organizations. Founded in 1977, SSI has 17 offices in 15 countries.
SOURCE Survey Sampling International (SSI)