Only 22 percent of Obamacare enrollees polled rate their health plan satisfaction as good, very good, or excellent in 2017, according to a survey from Black Book Market Research.
This number has significantly declined from February of last year when 77 percent of Obamacare enrollees polled said their health care coverage was good, very good, or excellent.
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The group polled 34,800 individuals who were enrolled in Obamacare coverage from January 2015 through February 2017 and found that the strongest dissatisfaction with Obamacare was with 2017 plans that had premium increases, a lack of competitors to choose from, narrower networks, declining consumer support, and curtailed benefits.
"Maintaining a high level of support has been nearly impossible since this last open enrollment began as several plans accepting the bulk of 2017 regional enrollees failed to congruently ramp up member services support to process claims, respond to enrollment issues, answer provider questions, denials, authorizations, and payment postings," said Douglas Brown, managing partner at Black Book Research.
Survey respondents were asked how their coverage differed from year to year. From 2015 to 2016, under 10 percent of Obamacare enrollees said their coverage had gotten worse. However, from 2016 to 2017, that number jumped to 58 percent, with these enrollees saying their health care plan had measurably declined over the year.
"The declining number of marketplace plans are evidently losing the consumer-centric approach to keep their members engaged, particularly as compared to the commercial or employer health plans that are not participating in Obamacare," said Brown. "The advent of consumerism is emerging front and center across the health care industry and Obamacare is the present theater."
Many health insurers have exited the Affordable Care Act exchanges citing a larger pool of sicker enrollees. Now in 2017, 70 percent of counties in the United States will only have one or two insurers for Obamacare enrollees to choose from on the exchanges, up from 36 percent in 2016.
"Following two years of steady improvements in marketplace health plan satisfaction, the fallout from the departure of strong service competitors Aetna, United Healthcare and Humana is triggering negative impacts on overall Obamacare satisfaction," said Brown.
The Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to requests for comment by press time.