Most Americans happy with their health plan, poll finds

Though concerns over narrow networks and rising premiums continue to gain attention, a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that many Americans are actually satisfied with their insurance plan.

Seventy-four percent of non-elderly Americans with insurance say that health coverage is worth the money it costs, and 61 percent rated their plan as an "excellent" or "good" value for what they pay for it, according to KFF's monthly health tracking poll.

In addition, 71 percent of insured Americans younger than 65 said the healthcare services they receive are at least a good value for what they pay for them, and 87 percent are satisfied with the choice of doctors available to them. Only 12 percent report having to change doctors because their chosen providers weren't covered by their health plan, the poll found.

Network adequacy has been a high-profile issue in recent months, as insurers have pared down their preferred provider organization plans in an effort to control costs and research has indicated some exchange plans lack in-network doctors in key specialties. 

The poll found that the uninsured are considerably less satisfied with the value of their healthcare services, with only 34 percent rating them as a good or excellent value for what they pay. Fifty-seven percent of those without coverage also are unaware of the Jan. 31 deadline to enroll in a health plan, and even though only 1 percent knew the correct fine amount for avoiding coverage, 47 percent said they expect to pay such a penalty for being uninsured.

The Obama administration and other outreach groups have placed added emphasis on the fine during this open enrollment period in order to nudge the remaining uninsured toward getting coverage. The penalty--$695 or 2.5 percent of household income--more than doubles this year.  

Still, 61 percent of the uninsured told KFF that they had enough information about how the Affordable Care Act affects them, and 65 percent plan to obtain health coverage in the next few months.

To learn more:
- here's the poll results

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