Poll Shows Voters Expect Health Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions Without Caveats or Extra Costs

Nearly 7 in 10 Say People Should Not Be Charged More Based on Health Status; Plans Must Cover Necessary Care

November 27, 2018

Washington, D.C., —Results from a new nationwide poll released today show nearly seven in ten voters (68 percent) across party affiliations say people with pre-existing health conditions should have access to health coverage without paying more because of their health status and 80 percent agree that simply having health insurance isn’t enough; plans must cover necessary treatments when people have a medical condition and need care the most.

The poll, which was conducted just before and during the midterm elections, also found 82 percent “disagree” that insurance companies should be able to charge higher prices to sicker customers. Ninety percent said they would be “concerned” and 78 percent say they would be “very concerned” if care for pre-existing conditions was no longer required to be covered.

More than half of those surveyed said they or an immediate family member have a pre-existing medical condition. The issue of pre-existing conditions protections has been the focus of many legislative efforts and a number of lawmakers have committed to addressing the issue in the upcoming session.

“These numbers clearly illustrate what voters expect when lawmakers commit to uphold pre-existing condition protections,” said Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “Voters understand that simply prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on your health status alone isn’t enough. They expect that people with conditions like cancer will be able to get coverage without paying more and that their plan will cover necessary medical care when and if they need it.”

The poll found strong support for these protections across all demographics and political party affiliations. An overwhelming three-quarters of those who voted for a Democrat (75 percent) and a solid majority who voted for a Republican for Congress (59 percent) say coverage for pre-existing conditions means that people have coverage without paying more.

“We hope these results resonate with elected officials at the federal and state levels as they consider how to strengthen our nation’s health care system,” said Hansen. “ACS CAN looks forward to working with the administration, Congress and state legislators to make sure patient protections under current law, including those for pre-existing conditions, remain intact and that the health insurance markets are strengthened so patients can continue to access quality affordable coverage.”

ACS CAN commissioned the questions as part of an omnibus poll fielded by Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group. The poll of 2,400 of likely voters was conducted November 4-6, 2018. Full results can be found here.


Media Contacts

Allison Miller
Director, Media Advocacy
Washington, D.C.
Alissa Crispino
Vice President, Media and Advocacy Communications
Washington, D.C.