Obamacare may give the worst deal to young Americans but when it comes to exchange plans, older Americans are the least satisfied with what they’re paying for, according to a Thursday survey.
Obamacare customers above 50 were the least satisfied with their health coverage, according to a survey from J.D. Power which questioned over 1,600 customers nationwide about their experiences purchasing Obamacare plans.
Women over 50 were slightly less happy with their coverage than men of the same age. Meanwhile, young adults under 3o had the highest satisfaction rating for their health coverage of any age group.
The results are slightly surprising: young adults are getting the worst deal from Obamacare out of any age group. Young, healthy Americans’ health insurance premiums are rising disproportionately under the health care law because insurers are limited in charging sicker and older customers.
But younger and healthier customers also use their coverage less — which is why older customers are more expensive to insure. The same goes for women, who were charged higher premiums before Obamacare banned the practice because they use far more health care services on average than men do.
The older customers between ages 50 and 64 are likely using their exchange health plans more — and are hit harder by the narrower networks and higher out-of-pocket costs that have become a hallmark of the health care law.
The trend is buffeted by the respondents’ satisfaction with different level of exchange plans as well. The top-notch exchange plans, rated gold and platinum, have by far the highest premiums, but also the best coverage. Customers that can afford it shell out for a hefty monthly premium, but enjoy a wider choice of health care providers and lower deductibles to boot.
Those who are most focused on cost and choose bronze and silver plans, which have much lower premiums, were far less satisfied with their health care plans, according to the survey.
“They’re certainly more budget conscious and a lot of them are trying to get the most bang for their buck,” said Rick Johnson, senior director of J.D. Power’s health care practice. “In that case, you’re not going to be thrilled about having to make that purchase.”
The survey also found that those who used the notoriously glitchy Obamacare websites reported having the worst experience signing up for coverage. Many of those who attempted to sign up for coverage through Obamacare exchanges had problems completing enrollment and were stymied by technical problems and the exchanges’ lack of information about the health coverage it was actually selling.
The website problems aren’t surprising. Even young professionals — not the type of Internet-illiterate customers one would expect — reported significant problems in navigating the federal Obamacare exchange. (RELATED: Study: Even The Highly Educated Can’t Get HealthCare.gov To Work)