HCN News & Notes

Poll: Federal Exchange Enrollees Want Obamacare Changes for All

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Individuals who have purchased insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) federal exchange don’t want states to establish their own exchanges, even if the Supreme Court rules their subsidies to be illegal in King v. Burwell. In fact, a majority of them would blame Congress for a poorly written law, according to a poll released by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA).

The first-of-its-kind poll surveyed 715 federal exchange enrollees, the people who would be most affected by the upcoming Supreme Court decision, and focused on their opinions of Obamacare, how they got on to the exchange, and what they want fixed.

The survey found that 46{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of healthcare.gov enrollees were insured pre-Obamacare, and 65{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of those enrollees were driven into the federal exchange — 19{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} had their plans cancelled, 29{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} saw their coverage dropped by their employer, and 17{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} found their prior plan became too expensive under the ACA. Just 21{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} say they voluntarily switched to the exchange. Their experiences with the Obamacare exchange have not been altogether positive, leaving them wanting some major changes, with more than 70{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} wanting reforms to help everyone, not just themselves.

More than 80{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of exchange enrollees want to get rid of the ACA’s open-enrollment window, nearly 70{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} want subsidies and assistance available outside of the Obamacare exchanges, a majority want non-ACA plans available again, and there is almost no support for a Congressional reaction following King v. Burwell that would impact only those receiving subsidies.

“Those that have experienced Obamacare using healthcare.gov firsthand are calling for major changes, not only for themselves but for all Americans,” said FGA CEO Tarren Bragdon. “It is telling that those receiving Obamacare subsidies want more flexibility, greater choice, and to get out of the exchange. Congress needs to listen very closely.”

The exchange-enrollee poll was conducted during late April and early May with adults from the 34 states that are using the ACA’s federal exchange.