“But Will It Cover Cancer?”: Treato Examines the Questions and Criticism Of Obamacare

With Open Enrollment Season Now Over, The Healthcare Insights Company Finds Consumers Were Most Interested in Obamacare for Cancer Coverage

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 — Cancer is the most frequently discussed health condition when consumers are discussing Obamacare online according to a data analysis released today by Treato, the single largest source of online consumer insights on healthcare.   Obamacare continues to be popular among Americans as according the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 12.7 million Americans signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also commonly known as Obamacare, this year.  When discussing Obamacare online, consumers are discussing cancer 2.5 times more frequently than any other health condition.  Within cancer, consumers are most frequently discussing breast, lung and colon cancers.  Online discussions about Obamacare generally skewed negative among cancer patients, but those that were positive expressed extreme gratitude.

Among patients and caregivers talking on cancer-centered forums 20 percent of online commenters expressed gratitude and 48 percent had various criticisms. Conversations regarding the downside of Obamacare’s cancer coverage generally fell into two categories: dissatisfaction with current coverage and frustration with the lack of plan options to select from. Consumers discussed the challenges of deciphering insurance rules in order to get the coverage they desired, as well as confusion about subsidies, exclusions, inclusions and co-pays. Consumers are also expressing intense frustration that they felt certain groups were gaining more from Obamacare.  The strongest criticisms were about women having access to more preventative screenings and more coverage for conditions such as for breast cancer, and the poor getting “free” coverage.  Consumers were also critical of cancer coverage being favored as they felt that other health conditions received less coverage.

In addition to being unhappy with their current insurance plans, in online discussions consumers were discussing being displeased because they felt they lost good private insurance plans because of Obamacare and are paying more out of pocket for cancer treatment than before.  Many expressed that Medicare and Medicaid are simpler to access and easier to understand.

When positively discussing Obamacare and cancer online, consumers were most frequently expressing gratitude.  Most commonly they were discussing how they are appreciative of the inclusion of preventative screenings, the accessibility of coverage while having pre-existing conditions, removal of lifetime limits on coverage and the affordability of coverage.

“Many consumers feel that their health insurance needs aren’t being addressed, despite that Obamacare has allowed them to obtain insurance coverage they might not have had before,” says Ido Hadari, CEO of Treato  “This is an education opportunity for insurance providers to improve their customer service and potentially drive additional plan enrollment.”

Find out more about Treato’s Obamacare data analysis.

Methodology:

TreatoVoice is a unique data asset that continuously collects and analyzes more than two and a half billion patient and caregiver conversations happening across the Internet in real-time to understand what patients are saying about their experiences with their conditions and treatments. For this analysis Treato analyzed more than 32,000 Obamacare online discussions across more than 90 online health forums.