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

TSA vows to close security gaps at U.S. airports

tsa

The new leader of the Transportation Security Administration said his top priority would be to close security gaps after an internal report showed 96 percent of undercover tests failed.

in National

Americans report improved health, better healthcare

healthcare

The study of more than 500,000 Americans found improvements in insurance coverage, access to primary care and prescriptions, and overall health since late 2013.

in National, Sports

Boston to blame for Olympic bid flop, says IOC’s Bach

boston

Boston was picked by the U.S. Olympic Committee to be the country's candidate for the 2024 Games but rescinded its bid in a spectacular U-turn on Monday after the city's mayor said taxpayers could not afford to host the event.

in Sports

Platini to run for FIFA presidency

platini

UEFA head Michel Platini announced on Wednesday his intention to stand for presidency of FIFA in place of Sepp Blatter.

in National

U.S. homeownership hits 35 year-low, renting in vogue

housingmarket

The drop in ownership underscores the damage inflicted on housing by the recession and the economy's subsequent slow recovery from the downturn.