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Overwhelming majority of Americans think they're healthy

Posted On Mon, March 11, 2013

If the results of a recent poll accurately reflect the well-being of Americans, nine in every 10 consumers today are in good physical condition.

The survey, which was conducted by the polling firm Penn, Schoen & Berland on behalf of the pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline, revealed that approximately 90 percent of Americans think they're in good physical health. Additionally, when asked to gauge the well-being of their community, more than 80 percent thought it was strong.

How likely respondents were to characterize themselves or their community as healthy appeared to be affected by their social status. For example, minorities and individuals who are in low-income jobs were the least likely to describe themselves as healthy, pointing to their limited access to clean water. Approximately nine in every 10 participants said that they considered access to clean water and air as highly influential on their level of health, but less than 60 percent said that they had a "great deal" of access to it.

The poll also revealed that many of today's healthcare consumers want technology to take on an even bigger role in how they find coverage, such as in locating health insurance quotes and medical information. Close to two-thirds of respondents said that they used online health resources for their own personal information, with nearly all - 94 percent - indicating that the information they obtained was vital to their personal well-being.

The places in which consumers obtain health coverage may change with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act less than a year away. But even prior to its implementation, fewer companies provide health benefits to their workers.  According to a poll conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, just 55 percent of business owners polled provided employer-sponsored healthcare in 2010. In 1997, nearly 65 of workers provided health coverage.

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