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Americans still don’t understand ObamaCare health plans, what the different options are

6 Months Before New Obamacare Plans Arrive, Consumers Still Don't Know What They're Buying

With only six months until they start to take effect, most Americans still don’t understand what the most fundamental changes to health plan designs under Obamacare are, according to a new HealthPocket consumer survey

When survey takers were asked, “How will the new ObamaCare Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum health plans differ from one another?” 86 percent of the respondents said they didn’t know. Only four percent of those in the poll selected the correct answer: “The percent of medical costs covered by insurance,” when listed among five answer options in the survey.

According to HealthPocket, the Affordable Care Act creates four basic health plan designs to replace existing health plans and address the needs of most plan shoppers who are not enrolled in a grandfathered health plan, Medicaid, or Medicare.

These plans are designated the Bronze Plan, the Silver Plan, the Gold Plan, and the Platinum Plan. All plans will share a mandatory set of insurance coverage features known as the Essential Health Benefits. The new plans differ from one another based on the percentage of medical expenses paid by the insurance plan, ranging from 60 percent of expenses to 90 percent of expenses. 

“Open enrollment for the new Affordable Care Act plans is only six months away and consumers still don’t understand how the health insurance market will have transformed,” said Bruce Telkamp, CEO of HealthPocket. “Education and community outreach efforts are going to be critical if Americans are to make informed choices about their healthcare.”

Kev Coleman, Head of Research & Data at HealthPocket, and conductor of the survey, commented, “We’re very excited to release the findings of our first consumer poll. Through our InfoPoll series, we help the consumer’s voice be heard by the industry insiders and government officials shaping health reform in America.”

The methodology to acquire survey respondents who approximate national statistics on age, gender, and region was implemented by Google. The full results of the InfoPoll for HealthPocket’s survey are available.