Kaiser Poll: 43% of Obamacare Enrollees Struggle to Pay Premiums

Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 09:08 PM

By Jason Devaney

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More than 40 percent of Americans who have health insurance plans through Obamacare said it is difficult to afford their premiums, while 62 percent are worried their premiums will exceed their price range in the future, according to a new poll.

The Kaiser Family Foundation released the results of its poll Thursday, showing that 43 percent of respondents reported having a hard time affording their coverage under Obamacare — which was designed to make healthcare more affordable.

Forty-six percent of the people surveyed said they are not confident they would be able to afford the costs associated with a major illness or injury. Forty-three percent have either a somewhat or very unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act that was signed into law in 2010. About a third of the Americans polled were somewhat or very unsatisfied with their monthly premium and annual deductible.

"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," Kaiser Family Foundation CEO Drew Altman told The Associated Press.

There is a significant discrepancy in the number of Americans receiving financial assistance from the government to pay for their healthcare. The official word from the Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Kaiser report, is that 85 percent of enrollees qualified for a premium tax credit to offset some of their healthcare costs. The Kaiser survey results, however, puts that figure at 46 percent.

The overall Kaiser survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Elsewhere, it was reported Thursday that the largest health insurance carriers in nine states are planning to increase premiums for hundreds of thousands of consumers starting next year. The rate hikes will range from 8.5 percent (Virginia) to 22.8 percent (Maryland).

The open enrollment period for 2015 Obamacare plans starts in November.

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