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One in three people say their insurance has gotten worse

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Twice as many voters say their health plans have gotten worse than say they have improved, according to a new poll. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Twice as many voters say their health plans have gotten worse than say they have improved, according to a Morning Consult poll released Tuesday.

Thirty percent of respondents said their health insurance coverage has become worse in the past year, while just 15 percent said it had gotten better, in the poll of 2,016 registered voters taken Sept. 8-10.

Respondents also indicated dissatisfaction with health insurance on a number of other fronts. Fifty-five percent said they're paying more for their insurance coverage. Twenty-four percent said they have lost access to their doctors in the past year because those providers were out of network. Thirty percent said they delayed or avoided emergency medical care in the past year out of fear of costs.

The poll was commissioned by the American College of Emergency Physicians, which said the findings underscore problems with high-deductible insurance plans, which require patients to foot more of the bill before benefits kick in. Health advocates have complained that many of the Affordable Care Act marketplace plans include hefty deductibles, which can hurt consumers financially.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that 40 percent more people are now enrolled in high-deductible health plans than six years ago, the group said. The group has long complained that insurers unfairly deny claims for emergency services, based on a patient's final diagnosis instead of their symptoms.

"Insurance companies are exploiting a federal law ... which guarantees that no one will be turned away from an emergency department, in order to reduce payments for emergency care," American College of Emergency Physicians President Jay Kaplan said. "They are shifting costs onto patients and medical providers."

While the Affordable Care Act has expanded health coverage to about 20 million more Americans, policymakers of all stripes have said there is a need to further improve coverage and affordability, as there is still broad discontent with insurance.