Survey: Uninsured don't expect care to improve

Fewer than one-third of uninsured consumers, the group that stands to benefit most from the Affordable Care Act, think their healthcare will improve this year, according to a new survey performed by the Urban Institute for the Robert Wood Johnson Institute.

Additionally, the survey found 21 percent of respondents think it will be harder to get timely healthcare and 18 percent believe quality of care will get worse.

When it comes to costs, only 25 percent of respondents expect their health costs to decrease this year. Another 36 percent of respondents believe they'll be paying higher premiums this year and 34 percent think out-of-pocket costs will increase. "This result holds up even in states that are expanding Medicaid, suggesting a colossal failure in outreach about the ACA's effects," the survey authors wrote.

"Many people heave negative expectations about their future healthcare costs, including those who stand to benefit the most from health reform," Katherine Hempstead, who leads coverage issues for RWJF, said in a statement. "People should be aware that financial assistance is available which can considerably reduce the cost of coverage."

Indeed, price is driving the buying decisions of customers shopping for insurance in the individual marketplace as consumers are choosing the cheapest exchange plans available, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Although respondents overall were pessimistic about their healthcare outlook for the year, the survey authors still found a positive point. "It is encouraging that, despite the preponderant negativity, many Americans acknowledge having been affected by the ACA's early market reforms that address coverage and benefit gaps in the pre-reform health insurance market," the authors wrote.

To learn more:
- read the survey