Move for Better Health Insurance? 28% of Americans Would
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Americans are looking for ways to pay for cheaper health insurance and would consider moving if it would lower their premiums.
More than one in four Americans would consider moving to another state or county to get better and/or cheaper health insurance, according to a new Bankrate.com report.
Young adults or those who are 18 to 29 years old are the most likely to consider moving with 42% saying that health insurance would factor into their decision on where to live.
"This suggests that many people could move and get better, cheaper health insurance without having to upend their entire lives," said Bankrate.com insurance analyst Doug Whiteman. "We're not necessarily talking about moving across the country and needing to find new jobs, schools, friends and so on. Sometimes moving just a few miles can significantly improve your health insurance situation."
About one-third of the lowest-income households who bring in under $30,000 per year would consider moving because of health insurance reasons. Since half of the 50 states are not expanding Medicaid, this is one of the groups most affected by geography. This map shows that premiums can vary widely, even within the same metropolitan area .
Premiums can vary greatly due to the level of insurance being offered, the number of insurance carriers in the area and how insurance is regulated in that state, Whiteman said.
"We're always telling people to shop around for insurance," he said. "This is a big part of family budgets. People ought to shop around for the right plan. We thought the results were pretty significant."
The survey also found that only 33% of Americans are feeling more negative about the Affordable Care Act now than they were one year ago; however, only 15% are feeling more positive. Young adults are the most likely to say their opinion of the law has grown more positive. This group is also the most likely to say it's getting easier for them to handle medical expenses and to report their health insurance situation is improving.
Nearly half or 46% of rural residents are feeling more negative and only 12% are feeling more positive. Urban residents are evenly divided with 22% more negative and 22% more positive.
Only 40% of Americans say their monthly health care spending is higher than a year ago, a sharp contrast with the 5% who say it is lower.
"It is surprising a fair segment of the population said they would be willing to move for health insurance," Whiteman said. "It will be interesting to watch in the coming years to see if there is more migration in the future."
Since health insurance premiums and deductibles can make up a significant portion of an individual's budget, planning for any medical issues or emergencies can protect against further problems.