Consumers Worried About Rising Health Insurance Costs and Exchanges

Consumers Worried About Rising Health Insurance Costs and Exchanges

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Most Americans (56%) are not confident that the Obamacare health exchanges will operate smoothly during this fall's open enrollment period, according to a new Bankrate.com report.

The exchanges open again November 15 until February 15, 2015. The survey also found that 32% are "not at all confident," which was the most common response and another 24% are "not too confident."

"The Obama Administration is still having trouble getting Americans to believe in affordable health care, despite the Department of Health and Human Services' recent report that nearly half the people buying subsidized plans on HealthCare.gov are paying $50 a month or less for their health plans," Bankrate.com insurance analyst Doug Whiteman said.

Most plans on the exchanges are very affordable with the average plan costing a single consumer $82 a month, he said.

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Fewer than two in five people are confident in the technical capabilities of the exchanges despite the updates that were made, said Whiteman.

"This demonstrates the long shadow cast by the bungled rollout of the exchanges last year," he said.

Americans also fear that they will be met with much higher insurance premiums for health plans during the upcoming enrollment season with 46% who said this could be a major problem. Only one in 12 Americans report lower monthly health care spending now than a year ago compared to almost half who report higher spending.

"There is a still lot of confusion, skepticism and pessimism," Whiteman said. "People are really concerned about costs increasing."

The concern about skyrocketing health insurance premiums is unfounded, he said. According to a PWC report on rate requests from insurance companies, most are asking for a 7.5% increase on average compared to double digit increases which were fairly common 10 years ago. Since insurance is regulated by each state, some entities may approve smaller increases.