The Uninsured Remain Underserved by Health Exchanges

Despite the goals of the Affordable Care Act, many U.S. citizens still are uninsured and underserved due to technical problems and lack of information from health insurance companies and health exchanges, according to a study by J.D. Power. However, cost is the key reason that shoppers wanted health insurance, but were unable to get it (89%). Other reasons include having pre-existing conditions (26%) and not knowing where to buy insurance (10%). (Shoppers were able to select multiple reasons during the survey.) Many shoppers had problems enrolling because of technical problems (40%); the application process taking too long (19%); and the website not having enough information about the plans (18%). Additionally, 49% of shoppers who did not complete enrollment had not decided on a plan. Rick Johnson, senior director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power said, “For health insurance providers to thrive in this new environment, they will need to retool their marketing, information and enrollment efforts toward a new generation of uninsured to serve their needs.” Fifty-nine percent of enrollees cite monthly premiums as an important reason for their plan selection; 36% cite doctor visit co-pays, 32% cite out-of-pocket maximums, and 32% cite annual deductibles. The study does not find a significant difference in the enrollment experience for federal and state exchanges. Fifty percent of consumers say their top reason for shopping through an exchange is to comply with the law while 40% shop because they want health insurance but haven’t been able to get it. Fifty-five percent of shoppers first heard about the Marketplace through the news media while only 4% learned about it in a notification from a state or federal agency. For more information, visit

Last Updated 01/19/2022

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