New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and Rutgers-Eagleton Explore Health Insurance Choices, Information, and Satisfaction in the Latest Health Matters Poll Report

PRINCETON, N.J. – Despite a shortened Marketplace enrollment period and general concerns surrounding today’s healthcare system, the majority of insured New Jerseyans are positive about their healthcare coverage experience, feeling content with the information they have received to choose a plan and with the major features within the current plan that they chose. These results come from the latest poll in the New Jersey Health Matters series by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Six in 10 residents say that they had a choice of different plans when enrolling in their current one, and among those who had a choice, about nine in 10 say they had enough information about the different plans to make an informed choice.

When it comes to assessing the plan they chose, a majority of New Jersey residents are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with a number of features about their current plan. Residents feel most satisfied with the specific doctors, hospitals, and prescription drugs available to them, followed by the extent of benefits that are covered and their out-of-pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles. Comparatively, residents are less satisfied with the cost of their monthly insurance premium than any other asked-about aspect: 34 percent feel “somewhat” or “very” dissatisfied about this particular cost.

As for why they chose the plan they did, a plurality (33 percent) of residents say that their main reason was because it was the same one they had last year. The next most common answer was a distant second: 15 percent say they chose their current plan because it was the only plan offered to them. About one in 10 say they chose their plan because of the extent of benefits, specific doctors available, out-of-pocket costs, or cost of monthly insurance premium.

Residents who purchase insurance themselves are less satisfied, most concerned with cost

Residents who individually purchase insurance from an insurance company or via the marketplace are consistently less satisfied with various aspects of their plan than those with other types of insurance, especially when it comes to out-of-pocket expenses and the extent of their benefits.

“The poll confirmed what we’re hearing on the ground – affordability and the value of available plans remain major issues among residents purchasing in certain markets,” said Linda Schwimmer, President & CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. “The ACA was effective in increasing coverage, but there’s more to be done to make that coverage affordable. This is especially true for small businesses and individuals above 400% of the federal poverty level who are purchasing insurance on their own and not receiving subsidies. They are feeling the brunt of a health care system’s costs that are ever increasing.”

On the other hand, those on Medicare and Medicaid are generally more satisfied than others with various aspects of their plan. Those who obtain insurance through an employer are especially satisfied when it comes to the extent of their benefits and the specific doctors, hospitals, and prescription drugs available to them.

Residents who individually purchase a plan from an insurance company or via the marketplace are also most likely to say that the monthly cost was the most important factor in choosing their current plan.

“This group is the least satisfied about current costs and thus considers cost most when it comes to choosing a plan,” said Dr. Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “They are the only group to cite this as their top reason and do so by a 3-to-1 margin or more over every other demographic.”

Read the full report from The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling here: www.njhcqi.org/healthmatterspoll-2018-health-insurance.

New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute is the only independent, nonpartisan, multi-stakeholder advocate for health care quality in New Jersey. The Quality Institute’s mission is to undertake projects and promote system changes that ensure that quality, safety, accountability and cost-containment are closely linked to the delivery of health care services in New Jersey. Learn more about us at www.njhcqi.org. Check out our blog, SchwimmerScript and view our most recent Impact Report. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP)

Home of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, ECPIP was established in 1971 and is the oldest and one of the most respected university-based state survey research centers in the United States. ECPIP’s mission is to provide scientifically sound, non-partisan information about public opinion. To read more about ECPIP and view all of our press releases and published research, please visit our website: eagletonpoll.rutgers.edu. You can also visit our extensive data archiveblogFacebook, and Twitter.

Dr. Ashley Koning, Director

Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling

Office: 848-932-8940

Cell: 908-872-1186

akoning@rutgers.edu

Carol Ann Campbell

New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

973-567-1901

cacampbell@njhcqi.org