Commonwealth Fund: 86 percent covered under ACA happy with health plans

With the Supreme Court's decision on a key provision of the Affordable Care Act due this month, a new report from the Commonwealth Fund finds that most Americans covered under the ACA are pleased with their health plans--and say they'd struggle without them.

Eighty-six percent of people who are insured through ACA marketplaces or are newly insured through Medicaid are either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with their coverage, the report states, and 68 percent have used their new insurance to access healthcare. For those who used their new coverage to find a primary care doctor, 77 percent said the process was either "very" or "somewhat" easy--and 60 percent were able to make an appointment within two weeks.

Patients insured under ACA plans or Medicaid also report positive care experiences, as 91 percent said they were either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with their doctors. However, "it will be essential to continue monitoring progress to ensure the law is delivering the affordable, comprehensive health insurance it promised," Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., said in an announcement.

The high court's ruling on King v. Burwell will determine whether millions of people who bought private health insurance through federal rather than state-run exchanges will lose federal subsidies. The Commonwealth Fund's report, meanwhile, found that 62 percent of adults who have used their new marketplace or Medicaid health plan would not have been able to afford that same level of care before their enrollment. More than half also had been uninsured before obtaining their new coverage--most for a year or more.

Overall, the uninsured rate in the U.S. has fallen to 13 percent, down from 15 percent in spring 2014 and 20 percent in late 2013, according to the report.

Among all Americans, not just those covered under the ACA, more still view the law unfavorably than favorably, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking poll in March. But the gap between ACA supporters and detractors has narrowed considerably since a similar poll in July 2014.

To learn more:
- here's the report
- read the announcement

Related Articles:
King v. Burwell Supreme Court case: What you need to know [Special Report]
Poll: Gap narrows between favorable and unfavorable views of ACA
Residents of states don't want their own exchanges
Survey says: Healthcare reform customers happy, better off
Obama: 'The Affordable Care Act doesn't need fixing'