posted by Greg Gierer
on May 23, 2016
As health plans develop and finalize Exchange products and rate filings for the 2017 plan year, it’s important to look back and see what has been accomplished so far in terms of coverage and quality of care.
Without a doubt, there has been significant progress and success in expanding coverage—12.7 million people have selected a plan in the Exchange marketplace and 20 million Americans have gained coverage through the Exchanges, expanded Medicaid, and related coverage expansions in the Affordable Care Act. As a result, the uninsured rate has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded—with coverage rates now exceeding 90 percent, according to the latest survey.
Importantly, expanded access to coverage also has resulted in improved quality care—as evidenced by continued high rates of consumer satisfaction with their Exchange plan coverage.
The latest findings from Deloitte build on existing survey research that shows the vast majority of consumers are satisfied with their new coverage. Consumers give their coverage high marks across a broad range of plan design elements—including affordability of premiums, access to primary care doctors and specialists, co-payments and deductibles, and the ability to obtain and afford medical care and services when needed.
Deloitte found Exchange consumers are broadly satisfied with their insurance coverage at the same rate as people with employer coverage. Moreover, 7 in 10 exchange consumers reported no financial difficulty in paying for out-of-pocket costs in the last year and large majorities (66 percent) of Exchange customers were using and benefiting from new consumer-oriented tools (such as out-of-pocket estimators) to help them make more informed decisions about their health and health care. Previous studies also have documented high rates of consumer satisfaction with Exchange coverage.
Greg Gierer is Vice President, Policy at AHIP.