SOURCE: HealthPocket

HealthPocket

November 16, 2016 09:00 ET

Poll Finds 1-in-3 Health Insurance Consumers Delaying Purchase Based on Election Results

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 16, 2016) - In the wake of last week's presidential election and the campaign promise of President-Elect Donald Trump to repeal the Affordable Care Act, HealthPocket performed a nationwide survey shortly to determine if the election results have had any effect on the purchase behavior of consumers buying health insurance. HealthPocket asked 1,175 people across the U.S., "Will the results of this year's presidential election influence when you buy your health insurance?" Respondents were given the option of selecting one of the four answers: "Yes, I will delay buying coverage," "No, I will buy coverage as normal," "No, I get my coverage from my employer," and "No, I get my coverage from a gov program." The first two of the options are associated with consumers in the market to buy private health insurance.

33 percent of respondents selected answers that were indicative of the privately-purchased health insurance market. HealthPocket found that one-in-three of these private health insurance respondents were delaying their health insurance purchases due to the presidential election results. While HealthPocket did not ask about the motivations behind the survey answers, it is assumed that a belief in near-term changes to the Affordable Care Act market was an influence. However, the reality is that there is still considerable speculation regarding the nature and timing of changes to the Affordable Care Act.

What is unclear at the time of writing is whether the election results will inhibit year-over-year enrollment growth for the government health insurance marketplaces or even lead to a decline as compared to last year. The survey results are a cause for concern for the current Obama administration. Healthcare.gov did experience an enrollment surge the day after the election but the 100,000 people making up the surge represent a small portion of the 13.8 million person enrollment goal for the 2017 enrollment season. Moreover, alternative forms of health coverage (e.g. healthcare sharing ministries, short-term health insurance, indemnity plans, etc.) may expand their marketing to capitalize on consumer uncertainty over the future of the ACA market. These alternatives have not been openly targeted for reform by the incoming Trump administration and typically they have large price advantages over ACA plans due to a combination of different benefit designs and the ability to reject applicants who have expensive pre-existing conditions. ACA plans, in contrast, have a broad set of mandatory benefits as well as a prohibition on rejecting applicants based on health status, both of which play a part in premium expense.

The full survey findings as well as the survey methodology can be reviewed at "Poll Finds 1-in-3 Health Insurance Consumers Delaying Purchase Based on Election Results."

HealthPocket.com is a free website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans, helping individuals, families, and small businesses to make their best health plan decisions. HealthPocket publishes health insurance market analyses and other consumer advocacy research. HealthPocket's research is nonpartisan and uses only objective data from government, non-profit, and private sources that carry no conditions that might restrict the site from serving as an unbiased resource. HealthPocket, Inc. is independently managed and based in Mountain View, California. Learn more at www.HealthPocket.com.

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