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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Survey: Public Opinion on the Exchange in 2015

With Open Enrollment 2015 coming up, there has been a lot of speculation as to whether this year’s open enrollment season will see enrollment rates as high as last year’s. According to the latest figures from the Department of Health and Human Services, 7.3 million people enrolled in health insurance through the Exchange in 2014. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 13 million Americans will enroll in health insurance plans on the Exchange in 2015. According to a recent report by The Morning Consult, an increase of 5.7 million may be difficult to achieve as, “the drop in interest in the exchange could present a challenge.” The report analyzed the numbers from The Morning Consult’s September Tracking Poll, which asked registered voters about their thoughts on the health insurance Exchange.

Voters’ Thoughts on the Exchange

The Morning Consult’s September Tracking POll found that 47 percent of voters are “not at all likely” to purchase individual health insurance through the Exchange this year. In the weeks leading up to open enrollment last year, only 28 percent reported that they were “not at all likely” to purchase through the Exchange.buying_through_the_exchange

Chart: The Morning Consult

In fact, only six percent of voters reported that they are “almost certain” to purchase their health insurance through the exchange, while 13 percent were “almost certain” last year at this time.

Plans for Current Exchange Enrollees

Under the auto enrollment ruling, Marketplace enrollees who do not indicate otherwise will be re-enrolled in their current Marketplace plan on December 15, 2014. This delay in re-enrollment will give consumers additional time during open enrollment 2015 to explore their health insurance options.

The Morning Consult polled voters who have already purchased insurance through the Exchanges. The polling found that 43 percent of voters plan on keeping their same plan, while 29 percent will shop around for a new plan.shopping_for_new_plan

Chart: The Morning Consult

According to The Morning Consult, “the 43 percent of respondents who say they will keep their same plan on the exchanges could face some challenges, particularly in the cost of their monthly premium.”

2014’s premium tax credits were based upon rates of the second lowest cost silver plans on the Exchange. Since last year’s second lowest cost plan probably won't be the same this year, enrollees’ premiums could go up while their tax credit amount stays the same.

Voter Interest in Exchange

The Morning Consult polled voters about whether they had ever visited a state or federal online health insurance Exchange, such as healthcare.gov. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority (75 percent) of voters who already have health insurance had not looked at the Exchanges. Over half (53 percent) of voters who do not have health insurance have never visited the Exchange websites to compare plans.visited_the_exchange_website

Chart: The Morning Consult

Read the entire report at The Morning Consult.

Have you ever used the health insurance exchange? Leave a comment below.