Better health insurance moves AmericansNews added by Benefits Pro on December 4, 2013
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By Kathryn Mayer

More and more Americans want to pack up and move so they can be closer to … better and cheaper health care coverage.

According to a Bankrate.com report released Tuesday, more than one in four Americans would consider moving to another state or county to get better and/or cheaper health insurance.

Health insurance would be a reason for 28 percent to move; with 9 percent saying it would be a major reason and 19 percent identifying it as a minor reason, Bankrate found.

Willingness to move for better coverage is even higher among young adults and low-income adults. Among those aged 18-29 year-olds, 42 percent said that health insurance would factor into their decision on where to live. About one-third of the lowest-income respondents (annual household income under $30,000) said they’d consider moving for health insurance reasons. Since half of the 50 states aren’t expanding the Medicaid program under PPACA, this is one of the groups most influenced by geography.

Moving for coverage is a relatively simple — and often smart — idea, researchers say, as premiums can vary widely, even within the same metro area.

“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.”

Research shows variation could be even more common under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as what’s available under the law — including health subsidies and Medicaid expansion — varies from place to place. Data from the Department of Health and Human Services show the base prices for PPACA plans often differ sharply from one county to the next.

Meanwhile, Bankrate also found PPACA support is still waning. One in three Americans feel worse about the law now than they did a year ago. Only 15 percent feel better about it. That lack of support might have to do with higher costs: 40 percent say their monthly health care spending is higher than a year ago, a sharp contrast with the 5 percent who say it’s lower.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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