Obamacare Fails to Numb Pain of Shopping for Health Insurance

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Politicians in Washington, D.C. have finally found something that Americans don’t enjoy shopping for: Health insurance. Despite the Affordable Care Act and efforts to improve the health care exchanges, many Americans have a negative view about their own health care.

The Obamacare website may be working better this year, but Americans are still feeling down about their personal situations. According to a new survey from Bankrate, 32% of Americans say they feel “more negative” now than they did last year about Obamacare’s impact on their own health care. That is more than double the 15% who feel “more positive.” Almost half of Americans want major or minor changes to Obamacare, while a quarter want to repeal the law completely. Only 16% want to keep the law as it currently stands.

How much do Americans dread shopping for health insurance? The survey finds that 82% of respondents who recently shopped for health insurance say the experience is the same or even worse than doing their own taxes. Meanwhile, 75% say it’s the same or worse than getting the middle seat on a crowded airplane, and 68% say it’s the same or worse than going to the dentist to have a cavity drilled.

“Shopping for health insurance can be complicated, but it’s one of the most important decisions you can make,” says Doug Whiteman, insurance analyst at Bankrate, in a press release. “If you have the wrong coverage or no health insurance at all, you could be just one illness or injury away from massive medical bills. It’s much better to go through the pain of researching and choosing a plan now than it is to figure out how you’re going to pay for an unexpected hospital visit during an emergency.”

Affordability also remains a concern when it comes to selecting a health plan. 44% of Americans say they prefer a high-deductible health insurance plan with a lower monthly premium, compared to 36% who prefer a low-deductible plan with a higher monthly bill.

“While a low health insurance premium can be very attractive, you don’t want to make the mistake of focusing too much on your monthly payment,” explains Whiteman. “Especially for older Americans who may require more doctor visits than their younger counterparts, a low premium/high-deductible plan could actually cost more in the long run.”

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