Few believe health insurance benefits have increased, poll finds

Even with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, only 1 in 6 adults believe their health insurance benefits have increased in the past two years and 12 percent believe they've actually declined, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, also found that nearly half of survey respondents said their insurance premiums have increased in the past two years, NPR reports.

These perceptions exist despite changes ushered in by the ACA, including the elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions and the introduction of rules that compel insurers to cover the full cost of preventive services such as mammograms, colonoscopies and contraception, NPR notes.

More than 7 in 10 participants in the NPR poll said they get good value for what they pay toward the cost of their healthcare. Yet previous research has found that 25 percent of working-age adults who are privately insured had high healthcare cost burdens relative to their incomes. Still, the ACA did improve care affordability and access for low-income adults, FierceHealthPayer has reported.

The poll also measured Americans' overall perception of the ACA, finding that 35 percent of adults say the law has directly helped the residents of their state, while 27 percent say it has directly hurt individuals.

 "On the other hand, on a personal level, most Americans do not believe the law directly affected them," Harvard health policy professor Robert J. Blendon tells NPR.

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