Individuals who purchased health insurance set up under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law rate their personal health as worse than people who bought individual plans elsewhere, a survey found.
Conducted after enrollment for Obamacare closed in April,the survey is the first comprehensive study addressing the health of those who have purchased this new insurance, created by the White House’s Affordable Care Act.
The survey found that 16 percent of respondents with Obamacare plans purchased on state exchanges rated their health as "fair," the fourth-worst of five levels offered. That compared with an average of 11 percent for all people who bought individual insurance.
About 4 percent of people buying from the Obamacare exchanges rated their health as "poor," compared with 2 percent in individual plans sold outside of those exchanges and less than 0.5 percent of people who still hold plans that do not comply with the law.
About 8 million people purchased Obamacare plans, more than half of them qualifying for government subsidies toward their monthly premiums based on household income.
The telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 742 people also found that 57 percent of the new Obamacare plan members had been uninsured just before they obtained coverage. Most of them said they had not had coverage for at least two years.
At the opposite, 21 percent of people in Obamacare exchange plans said they had "excellent" health, compared with 24 percent of all individual plan holders. Twenty-seven percent of Obamacare plan members said they had "very good" health, compared with 31 percent overall, and 31 percent said they had "good" health, compared with 30 percent overall.