ACA Enrollment and Affordability Research Findings

A man completes enrollment forms at a health care event.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored an in-depth research study examining perceptions around the affordability and value of new health insurance options available through Health Insurance Marketplaces. Engaging uninsured individuals and people who have self-purchased plans on the individual market, the ACA: Enrollment and Affordability study examines people’s reactions to potential costs of plans sold through the Marketplace, including premiums, copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. The study also explored messages around cost and value, examining where people find value in health insurance and what makes it worth the cost. 

Findings show that both the uninsured and those who purchase their plan are largely unaware about changes in coverage options. Those who have self-purchased health plans are more optimistic that they can find an affordable option through the Marketplace than the uninsured. Both groups see value in having a comprehensive plan that covers the services they need, and in having a plan that provides free preventive care. However, there are key distinctions among different demographics in terms of what is most valuable when it comes to having coverage.