Americans More Dissatisfied With Health Insurance

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The percentage of uninsured Americans has dropped, but customer satisfaction with the health insurance industry has also fallen to its lowest level in a decade. What is going on?

The percentage of uninsured Americans has dropped quickly since implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, but customer satisfaction with the health insurance industry also has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, according to new data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The latest annual ACSI Finance and Insurance Report shows that, within the finance and insurance sector, health insurance has the lowest customer satisfaction score. The 2015 ACSI Finance and Insurance Report, released Tuesday, is based on interviews with about 9,200 customers.

The report scores six industries in the finance and insurance sector. Those industries and their 2015 customer satisfaction scores — out of a possible 100 — are:

  • Credit unions — 81 (a decrease of 4.7 percent from last year)
  • Property and casualty insurance — 79 (unchanged)
  • Life insurance — 77 (a decrease of 3.8 percent)
  • Banks — 76 (unchanged)
  • Internet investment services — 76 (a decrease of 7.3 percent)
  • Health insurance — 69 (a decrease of 1.4 percent)

The only other industries measured by the ACSI that have lower satisfaction scores than health insurance are two industries outside the finance and insurance sector — Internet service providers and the pay-TV industry.

An ACSI news release explains:

The Affordable Care Act has delivered millions of customers to health insurance companies, but … many of these new customers hold individual policies that provide a minimum of coverage with high deductibles.

Customers who have group health insurance coverage are less satisfied (score of 68) compared with individual policyholders (71).

Among people with group insurance coverage, those without a choice of plans are less satisfied (65) than those who are offered a choice of plans (70).

News of the health insurance industry’s ranking among the three lowest-scoring industries measured by the ACSI in 2015 follows news that premiums are projected to rise again in 2016.

The consulting firm of McKinsey & Co. recently estimated that premiums for policies insurers offer under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal law also known as Obamacare, would rise “substantially” next year, the Fiscal Times reports.

The median rate increase for a silver-level plan, for example, will increase by 11 percent next year, compared with an increase of 7 percent this year.

Do you think the health insurance industry deserves its low customer satisfaction rating? Let us know below or on Facebook.

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