Few Exchange Enrollees Plan To Shop for New Plans, Poll Finds
Twenty-nine percent of U.S. residents who purchased exchange coverage during the Affordable Care Act's initial open enrollment period plan to consider other coverage during the upcoming open enrollment period, according to a Morning Consult poll, National Journal's "Health Care Edge" reports (Novack/Baker, "Health Care Edge," National Journal, 9/29).
CMS earlier this month released final regulations stating that the federal exchange will automatically renew health plans for 2015 if consumers have not taken action by Dec. 15. Consumers will be re-enrolled in the same plans, if available, or a similar plan if their existing plan is no longer offered through the exchange.
Under the final rule, consumers who are automatically re-enrolled will receive the same subsidy they received in 2014, as long as their incomes have not significantly changed and they have authorized IRS to view their tax returns. However, if premiums for the plans have increased, consumers will be responsible for paying the difference, instead of receiving a larger subsidy. If premiums have dropped, consumers could receive subsidies that are too high and would have to repay IRS next year (Norman, Politico Pro, 9/2).
Poll Details, Findings
For the poll, researchers conducted an online survey of 1,673 registered voters from September 21 to 23.
The poll found that among the 116 respondents who had exchange coverage:
- 43% expect to keep their current plan;
- 29% expect to shop to see what new plans are offered; and
- 25% are undecided (Morning Consult poll, September 2014).
Among all respondents, researchers found that:
- 47% are "not at all likely" to purchase coverage via an exchange, compared with 28% in 2013;
- 16% are split "about 50-50" on whether to purchase exchange coverage, compared with 27% in 2013;
- 15% are "almost certain" or "very likely" to purchase exchange coverage, compared with 28% in 2013; and
- 13% are "not too likely" to purchase exchange coverage, compared with 17% in 2013.
In addition, researchers found that 24% of respondents had visited a state or federal exchange website, including:
- 21% of insured respondents; and
- 42% of uninsured respondents (Evans, Morning Consult, 9/28).