Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) — Consumers shopping on the Obamacare exchanges are thriftier than the general public, with more picking health plans based on price rather than their choice of doctors, a study found.

While the general public prefers more expensive plans that cover a broader range of doctors and hospitals, 54 percent of those who are uninsured or who buy their own coverage select plans that cost less, even if they have less say in providers, the Kaiser Family Foundation found in a poll released today. Only 35 percent of that group — the target audience of the exchanges set up by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — would pick a more expensive, broad-network plan.

"The individual market has always been more sensitive to costs," Dan Mendelson, chief executive officer of the Washington-based consultant Avalere Health, said in a telephone interview. "They're not used to relying on their employer to take care of them, they generally have less predictable income and they are more accustomed to paying out of pocket."

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