ACA Has Not Changed Americans’ Perception Of Shopping For Health Insurance


Despite the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and efforts to improve the Health Insurance Exchanges for this year’s open enrollment, most Americans still dread shopping for health insurance, according to new research from Bankrate. The majority (82 percent) who recently shopped for health insurance said that it is just as bad, or even worse, than doing your own taxes. Even having a tooth filled is better than health plan shopping for some Americans—23 percent of those who recently shopped for a plan said it was less enjoyable than facing the dentist’s drill and 45 percent said it’s just as bad (for a total of 68 percent who say it’s the same or worse).

The study found that 32 percent of Americans said they feel “more negative” now than they did a year ago about the ACA’s impact on their own health care, more than twice as many as the 15 percent who feel “more positive.” In addition, Bankrate found that 49 percent of Americans want major or minor changes to be made to the ACA; 26 percent want to repeal the law completely (down from 30 percent when the same question was asked in June 2014); and only 16 percent want to keep the law as-is.

Shopping for coverage. For individuals who have shopped for health insurance coverage on the Exchange or elsewhere, Bankrate found that more than four in 10 preferred a high-deductible health plan with a lower monthly premium. Thirty-six percent preferred a lower deducible plan with a higher monthly premium, and 9 percent did not favor either of these options.

Millennials and those with household incomes of $30,000 to $49,999 are the most likely to prefer a high premium/low-deductible plan, while higher income Americans ($50,000 and up) and those ages 30 to 64 years-old are more likely to prefer a low premium/high-deductible plan.

“While a low health insurance premium can be very attractive, you don’t want to make the mistake of focusing too much on your monthly payment,” said Doug Whiteman, Bankrate insurance analyst. “Especially for older Americans who may require more doctor visits than their younger counterparts, a low premium/high-deductible plan could actually cost more in the long run.”

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