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Survey says: Boomers less likely to search for health care information Posted: February 16th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

Overall, less than half of all people took the time to find information regarding health care treatments and costs during the past year. Of those who did, younger individuals and women were more likely to search for data before making health decisions. These are just some of the findings of the EBRI/MGA 2010 Health Confidence Survey (HCS).

The survey was conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) to gauge American views on health care. Respondents were asked about a broad spectrum of topics including health reform, satisfaction with health care services and confidence in the future of the health care system including Medicare.

Four key HCS findings:

  1. 45 percent of the population report trying to find information on the advantages and disadvantages of health care treatments
  2. 28 percent tried to locate pricing information on the full cost of treatments
  3. 14 percent tried to research disciplinary action taken against a physician or hospital
  4. 52 percent of those who reported their health status had worsened in the last five years tried to locate information on medical treatments

In addition to those self-reporting fair or poor health, the percentage of those researching health care treatments was greater for those with higher levels of education. In addition, individuals younger than 45 were more likely than members of the Baby Boomer generation - those age 65 and older - to search for health care treatment and cost information.