Report: Health insurance exchanges get mixed reviews

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Retirees have mixed opinions about health insurance exchanges, according to research from Extend Health.

The South Jordan, Utah-based health IT company surveyed 443 retirees who used a health insurance exchange to compare and choose private individual Medicare and supplement plans in June and July.

When asked the most appealing aspect of health insurance exchanges, 47 percent responded that “[e]xchanges make it easier to compare and select plans that meet my needs and budget.” The next most popular response was "I don't know" (17 percent). Fourteen percent responded that a health insurance exchange is "easier to enroll in the plan I choose" while 13 percent responded with "none of the above."

According to the survey, 28 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that health insurance exchanges are a welcome addition to the U.S. health insurance system. Twenty-four percent agreed with the statement: "Everyone should have access to a health insurance exchange."

Twenty-one percent responded that they would prefer to purchase private Medicare plans through an exchange, 12 percent agreed that they wished their employer to have allowed them to select and enroll in health insurance plans through an exchange as an active employee and 10 percent responded that health insurance exchanges are unnecessary, the Extend Health survey found.