Poll: Many still struggle to pay health premiums

June 19, 2014 by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
This Mach 31, 2014 file photo shows people using a a phone bank to sign up for health care insurance at the business office of Parkland Hospital in Dallas. A new poll finds that most people who signed up under President Barack Obama's health care law rate their insurance highly, but a substantial number are still struggling with the cost. The survey released Thursday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation provides ammunition for both sides in the polarized national debate over health care. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Most Americans who signed up under President Barack Obama's health care law rate their new insurance highly, but a substantial number are struggling with the cost, according to a poll released Thursday.

The survey from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation provides findings that both sides in the health care debate can seize on. It's an ambitious look at people who buy their coverage individually; they're the ones most affected by the Affordable Care Act.

"The critics' view of the law as an unmitigated disaster is far from true, but it's not what advocates might have hoped for either because many people still have concerns about affordability," said Drew Altman, CEO of the foundation, an information clearinghouse about the system.

The poll found that Obama's law, the signature achievement of his first term, is achieving one of its main goals by covering the uninsured. Fifty-seven percent of the 8 million Americans who bought a plan through the new insurance exchanges were previously uninsured.

But greater access to coverage has come at a price that's uncomfortably steep for many.

Despite the availability of generous subsidies, 4 in 10 of those who bought a plan that meets the law's specifications said they had difficulty paying their monthly premiums. That's a sobering reality check on assertions by the Obama administration that coverage is readily affordable.

Overall, employer coverage got much better ratings in the poll than did health law plans, which are meant for self-employed people and workers without access through their jobs.

The survey was based on telephone interviews conducted from April 3 through May 11, among a nationally representative random sample of 742 adults ages 18-64 who purchased their own insurance. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points for results based on the full sample, 5 percentage points for those in plans that comply with the , and 6 percentage points for those in plans bought through the exchanges.

Explore further: Survey: US health insurance gains pick up (Update)

More information: Kaiser Family Foundation survey—tinyurl.com/q79sz3n

Related Stories

Survey: US health insurance gains pick up (Update)

April 7, 2014
A growing share of Americans got health insurance as sign-up season for President Barack Obama's health care law neared its end last month, a major survey released Monday has found.

Poll: Health law seen as eroding coverage

December 15, 2013
A poll finds that Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama's health care law for their rising premiums and deductibles.

Poll finds drop in uninsured rate

January 23, 2014
A closely watched survey says the nation's uninsured rate dropped modestly this month as the major coverage expansion under President Barack Obama's health care law got underway.

Poll: Sign-ups rise but little love for health law

May 23, 2014
President Barack Obama celebrated when sign-ups for his health care law topped 8 million, far exceeding expectations after a slipshod launch. Most Americans, however, remain unimpressed.

Poll: Obama health law fails to gain support

March 28, 2014
Public support for President Barack Obama's health care law—his signature domestic achievement—is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago, according to a new poll.

Despite recent problems, support for the Massachusetts health insurance law remains high

June 16, 2014
A new poll by The Boston Globe and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) finds, eight years into the state's universal health insurance legislation enacted in 2006, 63% of Massachusetts residents support the law and 18% ...

Recommended for you

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

Scientists develop new supplement that can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

July 18, 2017
Whey protein supplements aren't just for gym buffs according to new research from McMaster university. When taken on a regular basis, a combination of these and other ingredients in a ready-to-drink formula have been found ...

Study: Eating at 'wrong time' affects body weight, circadian rhythms

July 18, 2017
A new high-precision feeding system for lab mice reinforces the idea that the time of day food is eaten is more critical to weight loss than the amount of calories ingested.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
1 / 5 (1) Jun 19, 2014
Lets see double speak. Affordable care act MADE insurance more expensive and reduced the number of people who could afford health insurance. My own costs went up $5K and Now I have worse coverage.

Just waiting for the other shoe to drop, but Obama and the democrats want to postpone the next implementation till after the next election..... Two guesses why?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.