Transamerica Institute
Healthcare Consumers in a Time of Uncertainty is the fifth annual healthcare survey released by TCHS that is intended to track Americans’ attitudes about and experience using the U.S. healthcare system. The annual study reveals year-over-year comparisons and emerging trends in consumer healthcare and wellness. The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Transamerica Center for Health Studies between July 19 and August 2, 2017. The general population survey was a self-administered online survey among 4,602 U.S. adults (ages 18 to 64).

Read the full Report here and see below for key findings. 

A notable minority of Americans say they have been directly impacted in a positive way by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, Americans are more polarized about the ACA than in past years.

  • About three in 10 (28 percent) Americans believe the ACA has directly impacted their health insurance in a positive way. 
  • While the percentage of Americans having a positive impression of the ACA grew, those with a negative view also grew in comparison to 2015 and 2016. When asked about their overall impression of the ACA, 43 percent of adults say positive, 32 percent say negative, and 26 percent are neutral.

The vast majority are aware of possible policy changes on the horizon, and most of these Americans express concern.

  • More than 4 in 5 (81 percent) say they are at least somewhat aware of the potential changes to healthcare policy happening in Washington with 38 percent saying they are extremely or very aware.
  • Of those who say they are aware of the potential changes to healthcare policy happening in Washington, 92 percent say they are at least somewhat concerned about the potential changes with nearly 3 in 5 (59 percent) saying they are extremely or very concerned.

Losing healthcare because of a pre-existing condition is Americans’ most common fear when it comes to policy changes. Maintaining health coverage for pre-existing conditions, a ban on annual out-of-pocket limits, and a ban on lifetime limits are at the top of their wish list.

  • Over two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents reported at least one existing health condition, and of these respondents, mental health-related conditions constituted almost a quarter (23 percent) of the reported conditions.
  • When asked about their biggest fears due to changes in healthcare law/policy, more than two in five (42 percent) say losing healthcare because of a pre-existing condition, three in 10 (30 percent) say their employer no longer being mandated to offer healthcare coverage, and a quarter say reestablishing lifetime/annual out-of-pocket limits (24 percent).

When asked what they would like to see included in national healthcare policy, the most common responses were:

  • Pre-existing condition coverage (56 percent)
  • No annual out-of-pocket limits (i.e., a set maximum amount they pay out-of-pocket during a policy period/year (40 percent)
  • No lifetime insurance coverage limits (i.e., a dollar amount limit to covered costs) (37 percent) 
  • Gynecological care (36 percent)