J.D. Power & Associates: ACA Exchange Enrollment Satisfaction up 8%, equal to/higher than non-ACA Satisfaction

Presented with minimal comment:

Satisfaction with the Health Insurance Marketplace exchange enrollment process among new enrollees has significantly increased from 2014, and health plans obtained through the Marketplace exchange generate levels of member satisfaction equal to or higher than plans not obtained through the Marketplace exchange, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace Exchange Shopper and Re-Enrollment (HIX) StudySM released today.

The study measures satisfaction with Marketplace health plans obtained for the 2014 plan year by examining six attributes (in alphabetical order): claims processing; communications; cost; coverage and benefits; customer service; and provider selection. The study also measures the enrollment experience of both new Marketplace enrollees and re-enrollees by examining seven attributes (in alphabetical order): amount of time to complete the renewal/enrollment process; clarity of instructions for completing enrollment application; courtesy of the representative; ease of navigating the Marketplace website; ease of renewing/enrolling; ease of understanding benefits and coverage; and variety of information available about health insurance plan choices.

According to the study, enrollment satisfaction among new enrollees has increased by a significant 55 points to 670 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 615 in 2014, when all enrollees were new to the Marketplace. Satisfaction with enrollment among new enrollees is driven by the variety of information available. Among members who re-enrolled, satisfaction with the enrollment processis 731, higher than new enrollees. Satisfaction with the re-enrollment process is higher among those who auto re-enrolled (744) than among those who did not (724).

Marketplace plan satisfaction is 696, based on plan members’ satisfaction with their 2014 Marketplace health plan.

In other words, in 2014, Obamacare exchange enrollees had an overall 61.5% satisfaction rate. This year that's up to 69.6% overall: 67% for new enrollees and 73.1% for those who renewed. Not bad at all.

Even better:

...Given that the Marketplace began in 2014, there is no previous year’s data to compare satisfaction levels, though Marketplace plan satisfaction is 17 points higher than overall health plan satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2015 Member Health Plan StudySM (679), a survey of traditional, mostly employer-based plans not purchased on a Marketplace exchange. However, when comparing satisfaction among Marketplace plan members with satisfaction among health plan members in the 2015 Member Health Plan Study, who have multiple plan options, satisfaction levels are exactly the same at 696. Cost is the most influential attribute driving satisfaction among Marketplace plan members.

Imagine that. People are just as happy if not more so with their "Obamacare" policies as they are with their non-ACA policies. But wait, there's more!

“Marketplace shoppers are very cost-sensitive,” said Rick Johnson, senior director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power. “Unlike many traditional health plan members, who are often tied to a single employer benefit offering, Marketplace members have an option to switch plans annually, allowing them to shop for either the most affordable or the most valuable plan. Plan providers need to demonstrate the value of their plan by clearly communicating coverage and benefits. Additionally, auto re-enrollment is a great way to both ease the re-enrollment process and increase member retention.”

I hadn't even thought about this factor.

OK, next anti-ACA talking point?