Poll: Nearly half of Americans will keep same health plan in 2016

Despite urging from the Obama administration to shop around for the best price of health coverage, a new poll shows that almost half of voters who have coverage under the Affordable Care Act say they are going to keep the same plan through 2016.

In a poll of 2,351 people between Oct. 29 and Nov. 1, Morning Consult found that 47 percent of respondents planned to keep their current health plan in 2016. Only one-third said they would shop for a new plan, 15 percent said they were undecided and 5 percent responded by saying they did not know what they would do or they didn't have a plan.

According to a recently released study from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), consumers who shopped around for their health plans in 2015 via the federal marketplace saved, on average, about $400 after tax credits. With the cheapest silver plan on Healthcare.gov increasing by 13 percent, shopping around could help the average American absorb that increase. HHS adds that by shopping around, 86 percent of current enrollees could find a cheaper health plan.

There are a few factors that go into people being hesitant to shop around for coverage, Morning Consult notes. One issue is that Americans are less confident in the security of Healthcare.gov, as only 34 percent of people it polled in 2015 said they believed their private information is safe on the federal marketplace. While the federal marketplace has increased its security measures this year, private health insurers such as Anthem have fallen victim to large-scale breaches. 

A second issue is that fewer and fewer people plan on visiting an ACA exchange website this enrollment season, the place where many go to change plans, according to the report. Third, Americans don't always trust their insurers, so opting for new coverage seems like a daunting task.

To learn more:
- read the Morning Consult report