Republicans less likely to accept ACA grants to purchase health insurance


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Republicans who buy individual health plans may be less likely to shop in markets created under the Federal Affordable Care Act, leading them to forgo grants provided by the federal government, new study finds .

Examine the behavior of registrants of a large health in New England, researchers found that Republicans who bought individual plans were less likely than Democrats to use the grants they were eligible for, giving up on average about $ 800 per year compared to similar Democrats.

Neither Republican nor Democrat subscribers took full advantage of all the subsidies they had. But the researchers found that the overall financial impact of not using the grants was about double for Republicans compared to Democrats.

The study is published in the September edition of the journal Health affairs.

“These results suggest that political polarization may lead some people not to make full use of federal programs intended to health care coverage more affordable for Americans, ”said Joachim O. Hero, lead author of the study and associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization.

“With the increasing size of federal healthcare grants, it will be a challenge for policymakers to develop marketing and education programs that avoid labels and language reminiscent of controversial political battles at the national level, ”Hero said.

The researchers say that one approach to improving the use of healthcare subsidies may be to make the aid available to eligible consumers who use alternatives to state-run and managed health insurance scholarships. under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

The analysis was carried out as part of a larger study examining consumer preferences and behaviors in the non-group insurance market.

Two surveys, a baseline in 2017 and a follow-up in 2018, were sent to a random sample of non-group plan subscribers aged 18 to 63 with a single health insurer serving New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. During the study period, potential New Hampshire and Maine subscribers used the Federal Marketplace platform ( to sign up for Marketplace plans, while potential Massachusetts subscribers used a state market platform.

A total of 1,223 people responded to the two surveys, which asked participants about socio-demographic and clinical information, education, income, family composition and a number of questions on party affiliation and status. Political Views.

Survey information has been merged with health insurance enrollment records, including enrollment source Marlet), federal subsidies applied to plan premiums and health insurance plan features.

The study found that Republican subscribers to non-group health plans were generally less likely to enroll through ACA markets than Democratic subscribers with the same demographic profile.

However, there was no difference in participation in the ACA market or grant participation by party among people belonging to the lowest income groups (those with less than 250% of the federal poverty line), who were eligible for grants worth several thousand dollars.

Likewise, no difference between parties was observed among those with chronic illnesses, who generally have higher overall health spending.

Examination of written responses to surveys revealed expressions of support and opposition to the Affordable Care Act as reasons for or against listing in government-run marketplaces.

“Coordination with individual carriers and brokerage networks or a greater ability to sign up through private websites can expand opportunities for eligible subscribers to sign up for subsidized plans through channels that feel more secure. comfortable or less politicized, ”Hero said.

The project was supported by the Federal Agency for Research and Quality of Health Care. The other authors of the study are Anna D. Sinaiko of Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Alon Peltz and Alison A. Galbraith, both of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, and Jon Kingsdale of the Boston University School. of Public Health.

The ACA marketplace is once again open for insurance subscriptions. Here’s what you need to know

More information:
Joachim O. Hero et al, In New England, Partisan Differences in ACA Market Participation and Potential Financial Harm, Health affairs (2021). DOI: 10.1377 / hlthaff.2021.00624
Provided by
RAND Company

Republicans less likely to accept ACA grants to purchase health insurance (2021, September 8)
retrieved September 8, 2021

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