Obamacare: attitudes affect enrollment

Those who sign up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, differ significantly in their attitudes toward health compared to those who show no interest in doing so. Results from a study we conducted in December 2015, as well as the research we’ve been doing for the past 25 years on the health of those 40 and older, support this claim.

From our body of research on 22,000 persons 40 and older we’ve extracted 7 critical health dimensions. Our research shows that those who have attempted, plan to, or have signed up for Obamacare score significantly higher on three of our 7 critical attitudinal health dimensions as compared to those who say they haven’t and will not enroll.

Enrollees score significantly higher on Trust in Doctors believing their doctor cares about them as a person and that better health comes from following their doctor’s advice. In addition, enrollees in Obamacare also score higher on Getting a Checkup, committed to having regular doctor visits. And, thirdly, enrollees show an avid interest in Seeking Health-related Information, whether or not it is read or understood.

In contrast, non-enrollees scored higher on Self-determination, motivated to stay in control of their health-care decisions by avoiding prescription drugs or resenting a doctor’s advice.

It’s important to note that neither group differentiates itself on three of our other dimensions: Healthy Lifestyle, Concerned over Cost, and Able to Understand Health Information. These findings do not bode well for the nation’s healthcare costs. Those who sign up are looking for access to the medical system, not planning to live healthier lifestyles. Insurers and the government should consider communication programs targeting our mindsets. Developing health profiles and facilitating targeting can be accomplished by using our e-health system, the Morgan-Levy Health Cube.


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