News

Survey: Most uninsured lack knowledge about Obamacare

Survey: Most uninsured lack knowledge about Obamacare

HEALTHCARE HEADACHES: The survey shows found that eight in 10 uninsured adults were unaware of the need to sign up for insurance by March to avoid a fine, under the so-called individual mandate. Photo: Associated Press

By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) – Most uninsured adult Americans lack basic knowledge about President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law and haven’t visited their online insurance marketplace because they think health insurance is unaffordable, according to a survey released on Thursday.

The survey from Enroll America, a non-profit healthcare enrollment coalition, found that 68 percent of uninsured adults had not yet logged onto their online exchanges.

A similar number, 69 percent of the uninsured, still lacked knowledge about tax subsidies and other financial help designed to make the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, affordable for many, the survey said.

“Large proportions of the uninsured are also still in the dark about deadlines and that brand new plans are available,” Enroll America said in a report about the survey.

“A lack of facts about costs and coverage may be the greatest barriers to enrollment,” it added.

The law is expected to reduce the number of uninsured in the United States by almost half, or about 25 million people, in the next 10 years.

As many as 7 million people are expected to buy insurance on the state exchanges and 8.7 million new beneficiaries are expected to enroll in Medicaid in 2014 alone.

The administration, however, appears to be far behind in meeting its enrollment goals.

Anne Filipic, the president of Enroll America, told reporters in a conference call about the survey that more than 2 million uninsured Americans have signed up for plans through state and federal exchanges so far.

The nationwide survey of 910 adults was conducted December 12-22 by PerryUndem Research/Communication and had a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.

It found that eight in 10 uninsured adults were unaware of the need to sign up for insurance by March to avoid a fine, under the so-called individual mandate.

Forty-three percent of Latinos participating in the survey said they weren’t aware of the federally managed Healthcare.gov website. Only 25 percent of blacks and 21 percent of Latinos said they visited the website, compared with 30 percent of whites.

In response to the survey, Enroll America said it was hiring 60 more staffers in 11 states to get its message out, sending them to supermarkets and churches to connect with more people while seeking volunteers to serve as “ambassadors” for Obamacare.

“Greater awareness and education about financial help and addressing cost concerns may be effective ways to boost enrollment for the remainder of the period,” the coalition said

(Additional reporting and writing by Tom Brown; Editing by David Adams and Jan Paschal)

Recent Headlines

in National

Manufacturing, construction data point to sturdy U.S. growth

An overall view of the assembly line where the BMW X4 is made at the BMW manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina March 28, 2014.

U.S. manufacturing activity hit a nearly 3-1/2-year high last month, a sign the economy entered the third quarter on strong footing.

in Sports

Indianapolis Colts owner pleads guilty to intoxicated driving

James Irsay, owner of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters March 17, 2014.

Billionaire James Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, was arrested in March after failing roadside field-sobriety tests.

in Sports

Phillies’ Cole Hamels, bullpen combine for no-hitter

Sep 1, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws the ball against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Turner Field.

Cole Hamels set up a combined no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies as they beat the Atlanta Braves 7-0 at Turner Field in Atlanta.

in National, World

ISIS releases beheading video of American Steven Sotloff

A masked Islamic State militant speaks next to a man purported to be U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff at an unknown location in this still image from an undated video posted on a social media website.

The Islamic State militant group released a video purporting to show the beheading of U.S. hostage Steven Sotloff.

in National, World

U.S. forces carry out operation against al Shabaab

shabaab

U.S. military forces carried out an operation on Monday against al Shabaab militants in Somalia.