ACA & The New Normal

87% of Americans Favor Health Insurers Being Required to Cover Pre-Existing Conditions

How Popular Is Obamacare? What Do People Think is Next for Healthcare? What Issues Do Americans Want Prioritized by Trump and Congress?

Millennials Surveyed in Depth

AUSTIN, TEXAS (September 13, 2017)—A new insuranceQuotes study found that 53% of Americans feel the same about Affordable Care Act (ACA) now as they did before the 2016 election.

An almost equal number of Republicans, Democrats and Independents said health care reform is the number one priority President Trump and Congress should address (38%), ahead of tax code reform (20%), improving national security (18%) and changing immigration laws (14%).

When asked what they like about the current health care law, 87% favor the requirement for health insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

However, 57% oppose the individual mandate, which requires Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine.

When compared to other age groups, Millennials are:

  • Most likely to favor the federal government providing financial assistance to low-income Americans so they can afford health insurance (84%).
  • Most likely to want young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 (81%).
  • Most likely to want states to offer insurance through Medicaid to more low-income people (87%).

When asked to imagine what the future holds for the health care law over the next year, 31% believe it will be repealed and replaced, 27% believe it will still be in place but updated, and 24% believe it will be the same as it is today (24%).

“Health care remains a top priority and Obamacare is still popular with many Americans, especially young people,” said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst, insuranceQuotes. “Since the ACA is still law, uninsured consumers should shop for a health plan during open enrollment, which starts November 1.”

Excerpts from Study

Post-election impact
Though overall support for the ACA has varied since the law was introduced in 2010 (highest after President Obama took office and lowest a year before the 2016 presidential election), the election has not changed overall sentiment according to the insuranceQuotes survey.

One possible explanation for why Americans feel the same toward health care laws since the election may be because health care situations have not changed yet.

“Before the election, people were calling us all the time with concern that they’d lose their medical and insurance subsidies,” says Catherine Fredriks, a Certified Covered California Agent at Susan Polk Agency, Inc. “Since the election, we haven’t seen a whole lot of changes that have impacted our customers, so things calmed down.”

That is, until recently.

“Our phones are starting to ring again with the recent Anthem announcement,” says Fredriks, who is referring to news earlier this month made by Anthem, the nation’s second largest health insurer, that it is pulling out of most of California’s individual markets citing the uncertainty of the ACA.

What Millennials think of health care
As to be expected, varying attitudes about health care is often generational. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials do not see eye-to-eye on what reform should or shouldn’t include.

The survey found that:

Millennials, particularly Younger Millennials (age 18-26) are least likely to believe health care reform a priority (33 percent) when compared with older Millennials (37 percent), Gen Xers (35 percent) and Baby Boomers (42 percent), Silent (40 percent).

Our phones are starting to ring again with the recent Anthem announcement

Younger Baby Boomers (age 53-62) are most likely to say health care reform should be a top priority (46 percent) and are most likely to strongly oppose requiring nearly all Americans to have health insurance or else pay a fine (49 percent).
Younger Millennials (age 18-26) are most likely to favor allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26 (88 percent).

While Millennials are less likely to believe health care reform is a priority when compared to other generations, survey findings suggest that they are paying more attention to health care than one might believe.

Younger Millennials were the most likely to say the ACA will be repealed and replaced (40 percent)
“I don’t think Millennials are much different from generations before,” says Henry, who believes much of their perspective on health care is mainly a function of their age.

As an executive leader who actively seeks feedback from employees of all ages on how they feel about health plan options, he says with respect to the ACA, employees were mainly concerned with losing their PPO option.

Fredriks, who works mainly with individuals and families to obtain non-group medical coverage, views the situation similarly.

“For my customers who have families and are already paying exorbitant premiums, there is increasing concern that choices will be even more limited now that Anthem has pulled out,” Fredriks says.


Read the entire report here.