A recent survey indicates Americans have been following the debate over the Affordable Care Act, and they’re worried. Their top concerns involve being left without coverage if the law changes.
A large majority of Americans are aware of the debate over potential changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and they fear losing coverage for pre-existing conditions and Medicare, as well as losing the employer mandate for healthcare coverage.
Almost half (47%) of rural Americans have a negative impression of the ACA, compared to 19% of urban Americans and 34% suburban Americans, according to a survey from the national non-profit Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS).
The survey shows that 81% of Americans are aware of the healthcare debates in Washington, D.C.; of those, 92% are concerned about those changes, and 59% are very or extremely concerned. The three biggest fears among Americans include loss of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions (42%), reduction in Medicare coverage for seniors (31%), and loss of the employer mandate to offer healthcare coverage (30%).
Survey participants had good reason to fear loss of coverage: 67% of them reported having at least one chronic health condition, and 19% cited managing a chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, as one of their top two most important health-related priorities.
“Being able to pay for the care I need” was cited as the most important concern (36%), with nearly one in five (19%) saying they are currently unable to afford routine healthcare expenses such as health insurance co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses. Only 13% said their access to affordable healthcare coverage has increased in the past one to two years.
Gregory A. Freeman is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.