Wealthier Americans are least satisfied by health insurance companies, study finds

The nation’s wealthiest people are the least likely to be satisfied with their healthcare insurers, with one-third describing their payments as “unaffordable,” according to a new survey.

One-quarter of people who make $100,000 or more annually say it's not easy to read their bills and that they're not confident their bills are accurate, according to data from health researchers at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The survey, which included 1,000 people, found that affluent customers, millennials and people with below-average health were the least likely to be satisfied with their healthcare systems.

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Wealthy Americans were most unhappy about their insurers’ practices, while people in poor health said they were dissatisfied by hospital billing, with nearly half of those customers saying they didn’t know their costs beforehand.

More than four in 10 customers with below-average health said their coverage was unaffordable, nearly double the rate of the general population, the survey found.

Millennials were the most likely to dispute their bills. About one-fifth of people between the ages of 18 and 24 say they have appealed a decision from their insurance company or that they have asked for a discount.

Researchers at PricewaterhouseCoopers said the results demonstrated the importance of shifting toward a customer-oriented payment system based on convenience, transparency and affordability.

“The nation’s healthcare billing and payment system is an artifact of an earlier age,” they wrote in a report. “Much can be done to improve the system in the short term, but in the long term, structural change is needed.”