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2012 AARP Survey of New Jersey Registered Voters Ages 18-64 on the Development of a State Health Insurance Exchange

There is currently debate about whether New Jersey should set up its own state health insurance exchange, how much consumer representation should be on the governing board, and how to determine which health plans can be part of the exchange. In its continued efforts to be a strong voice for all consumers of health care, AARP in New Jersey commissioned a survey of residents ages 18 to 64 to gauge their opinion about these health insurance exchange issues.

Key findings included:

  • Twice as many New Jersey registered voters ages 18-64 believe the state should develop and run its own health insurance exchange (58%) compared to those who think the federal government should set up and run the exchange (30%). 
  • About three in five New Jersey registered voters ages 18-64 say it is extremely (27%) or very important (32%) that the state passes legislation in 2012 to develop a state run health insurance exchange.  Nearly two-thirds believe the health insurance exchange should use a competitive, market-based strategy to choose plans that can be part of the exchange based on good quality and value (65%) while less than a third says any health insurance plan that meets minimum federal standards can be part of the exchange (31%).  
  • About three in five New Jersey registered voters ages 18-64 strongly agree (59%) that the majority of the governing board of the state health insurance exchange should be consumers and nearly another three in ten somewhat agree (28%).  Nearly half strongly disagree (45%) that health insurance company representatives should serve on the board and another one in five somewhat disagree (18%).  
  • Twelve percent of New Jersey registered voters ages 18 to 64 responding to this survey say they currently do not have any kind of health care coverage.  
  • About four in five respondents who have health insurance say they are worried about increases in their premiums (81%).  The majority of those with health insurance say they are insured through an employer and over three-quarters of these respondents say they are  worried about these employers increasing the amount they have to pay for their health care and insurance (77%).
  • More than four in five of all respondents are worried that they will have to pay more for their family’s health care (83%) while nearly three in four express concern about not being able to afford the health care services their family may need (72%).  
  • Most New Jersey registered voters ages 18 to 64 who have health care coverage are concerned they won’t be able to maintain their current health care coverage over the next five years (65%), with about two out of five saying they are extremely (22%) or very (19%) concerned about this.

This telephone survey of New Jersey registered voters ages 18-64 was fielded by Woelfel Research, Inc between March 5 and March 12, 2012, and a total of 802 interviews were completed. For more information, please contact Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303.

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