Voters’ Definition of Junk Health Insurance Highlights Desire for Choice

Seventy-six percent (76%) of voters believe “health insurance that fails to pay for its promised coverage” should be considered “junk insurance.” A national survey found that 13% disagree and 11% are not sure.

The survey also found that most voters consider five other forms of health insurance to be junk insurance:

  • Seventy-two percent (72%) believe that the term “junk insurance” applies to “health insurance with so much red tape that people have to wait a long time for surgery.” Just 14% disagree.
  • Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe “health insurance that forces people to pay for coverage of medical procedures they don’t need” is junk. Only 18% disagree.
  • Sixty-eight percent (68%) believe junk is the appropriate description for “health insurance that places a limit on care for items such as cancer treatments.” Nineteen percent (19%) disagree.
  • Sixty-two percent (62%) consider “health insurance that won’t let you choose your own doctor”  to be junk insurance. Only 23% disagree.
  • A bare majority–51%–think junk is the right description for “health insurance that requires young people to subsidize the premiums of older people.”

Highlighting a gap between the political world and the rest of the nation, just 41% believe “health insurance with low premiums that covers only major medical expenses and emergencies” is junk. On that point, 38% disagree.

Just 28% think ‘”health insurance that is expensive but covers virtually every medical emergency” should be considered junk. Most (52%) disagree.  This makes clear that voters don’t have a problem with expensive health insurance, they just don’t like the idea of being forced to buy it.

See full crosstab results.

Data released earlier showed that  75% of voters think they should be able to choose between health insurance plans that range in price based on the level of coverage they provide. Seventy-eight percent (78%) believe workers should be given a choice between accepting a lower salary with more expensive health insurance or a higher salary with less expensive health insurance. And, 89% believe older Americans should have a choice between Medicare and private insurance options

Data consistently shows strong voter desire for more control over their own health care choices. While the top priority on voters’ health care reform protecting those with pre-existing conditions, number two is a desire for more choice: “requiring health insurance companies to offer a variety of health insurance options, including more expensive plans with comprehensive coverage and less expensive plans that cover only basic health care needs.”

The latest survey also found that just 32% believe an insurance requiring people to buy generic versions of prescription drugs  should be considered junk. Fifty-one percent (51%) disagree.

Only 23% of voters are following news stories about junk insurance even somewhat closely. releases new polling data on health care at least twice a month. We also release new data every day relating to topics in the news and other items of interest.

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The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted June 5-6, 2019 by and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and a Demographic Profile of the sample). Results from the full sample have +/-3.1 percentage point Margin of Sampling Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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