Obamacare leaves consumers confused, poll finds

Most of those surveyed have not decided whether they will buy insurance as required by the Affordable Care Act that goes into effect next year.

By Mitch Lipka Jun 3, 2013 2:21PM

Insurance Money © Comstock Images/JupiterimagesWith the long-anticipated "Obamacare" insurance requirements due to be in place by Jan. 1, nearly two-thirds of those without health insurance still haven't decided whether they'll buy coverage by the deadline, a survey released today shows.

The survey by InsuranceQuotes.com also showed most consumers still don't really understand the provisions of so-called Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, or how it will affect them. And those most likely to receive benefits from subsidies provided by the new law -- those who earn less than $30,000 a year -- are the least likely to know that, the survey found.

"Even though the new health care law has been hotly debated for years, a shocking number of Americans are still unsure how it will affect them," said InsuranceQuotes.com senior insurance analyst Laura Adams.

With the open enrollment period starting on Oct. 1, consumers have less than four months to get up to speed.

The law is intended to ensure that all Americans have health insurance. That includes opening insurance to those with pre-existing conditions and eliminating lifetime coverage maximums.


For those who can't get insurance elsewhere, such as through an employer, the government will provide a health insurance marketplace. That's where consumers will be able to shop for insurance plans, determining the insurer and amount of coverage they are willing to pay for.


Under the law, penalties will be assessed to those who are uninsured as of Jan. 1. The penalty for someone who fails to get insurance is either $95 or 1% of their of their income, whichever is greater.

Among the other key findings of the survey:
  • 61% of those who don't have health insurance say it's because they can't afford it
  • 26% predict Obamacare will decrease the cost of health insurance while more than 60% say it will rise
  • 58% of those surveyed say they don't know if they will qualify for tax credits to help lower the cost of insurance
The tax credits will be available to those with incomes of less than 400% of the federal poverty level -- $94,200 for a family of four and $45,960 for an individual.

The federal government put together this list of tips to help families prepare for how to handle the upcoming changes:

  1. Learn about different types of health insurance. Through the Marketplace, you’ll be able to choose a health plan that gives you the right balance of costs and coverage.
  2. Make a list of questions you have before it’s time to choose your health plan. For example, “Can I stay with my current doctor?” or “Will this plan cover my health costs when I’m traveling?”
  3. Make sure you understand how insurance works, including deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, copayments, etc. You’ll want to consider these details while you’re shopping around. Visit Insurance Basics to learn more about how insurance works.
  4. Start gathering basic information about your household income. Most people will qualify to get a break on costs, and you’ll need income information to find out how much you’re eligible for.
  5. Set your budget. There will be different types of health plans to meet a variety of needs and budgets, and breaking them down by cost can help narrow your choices. 
  6. Find out from your employer whether they plan to offer health insurance, especially if you work for a small business.
  7. Explore current options. You may be able to get help with insurance now, through existing programs or changes that are in effect already from the new health care law. Use our resources to get information about health insurance for adults up to age 26, children in families with limited incomes (CHIP), and Medicare for people who are over 65 or have disabilities.
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Jun 3, 2013 3:46PM
Should have thought about that before you re-elected him. There's a lot more surprises in store but I had nothing to do with it. I wasn't stupid to begin with.
Jun 3, 2013 4:03PM

It'd be more accurate to report that people are pissed off about it.

If Obamacare is sooooooooo great, then WHY did the politicians vote themselves exemption from it and any penalties for not purchasing it??????? Hmmm...??

Jun 3, 2013 3:57PM
We just got our premiums at work TODAY. My cost for the parent child plan is now $770.39 per month. And that is not covering my husband whose is $100 a month through his job. So my family of 5 is nearly $1000 a month. When is this "affordable" heading my direction?
Jun 3, 2013 3:54PM
Obamacare is another failed socialist program
Jun 3, 2013 3:09PM
People are so...ignorant, uninvolved...I'm not really sure what it is.  I guess most people get information off of web news, and mostly news articles are about who the Kardashins are sleeping with.  Nasty!  Just wait until the enormous cost is revealed, and how much they're going to have to pay for health insurance.  That'll wake them up to what has been happening in the last four years.  Lot's of dirty laundry in the Obama White House.  Say good bye to those end of year tax refund checks too.

How can anyone understand this "so-called"

Affordable healthcare when there are thousands of pages to digest,

Not only able to digest, but understand the language of legaleze

This is a program that is ready to go bust before day one. 

B J Barnum once said, "A sucker is born every minute." 

What a sucker we were made of by this administration.

Social security and Medicare going broke within 10 to 20 years

and no one talks about it except SPEND SPEND  money we do not have

Jun 3, 2013 4:21PM
I'm not at all confused.
BUT, I am thoroughly disgusted.

Jun 3, 2013 4:08PM
and the ignorant ones are all obama voters
Jun 3, 2013 3:57PM
Even top Democrats are saying that Obamacare is a train wreck. The Presidency, the senate and the congress were all controlled by Democrats and they locked the Republicans out of the negotiations. Never have a majority supported it. It was imposed on us. Do we need insurance reform...yes. But OC is a take over of more than 1/6th of our economy that regulates the conversations you have with your Doctor, will take longer to sign up for than doing your taxes, if you are a business, you have to chose the correct category or .the claims will be denied and it is ridiculously complex, if you don't sign up for insurance, the first year they will charge a flat fee or 1 percent, but this escalates as years go by.
Jun 3, 2013 3:11PM
One of the Worlds best healthcare systems will disappear in 2014 and the people will react with violence unfortunately
Jun 3, 2013 3:54PM
All this healthcare proposal does is polarize the fact that we have a President that, before this, NEVER HAD A JOB! He, therefore, could not possibly understand the expenditures that healthcare insurance incurs. This isn't to say that the ideology of tort reform was not a good idea. I just don't believe that was ever his objective. His objective was to rush this through Congress so that he could get all of the 'pork' in the Bill doled out to his political contribution buddies, not the least of which was.......the pharmaceutical companies! Really? A lawyer is going to push for tort reform? Now, why would a lawyer do that? My question is who is going to question when Obama's wealth has increased, exponentially, when he gets out of office, much like the Clinton's did? All this, on a President's salary? Will he, too, be the beneficiary of sound financial planning, like the Clinton's were? This Bill needs to be repealed in the name of common sense and any one of the political parties out there need to present a candidate that is not in bed with any number of the seemingly endless list of lobbyist groups that are the puppet-masters, running this country. Who care which "-ism" you want to tie the current regime to. We have not had a few bad years of bad politics. The political machine has been corrupt and broken my entire life from LBJ all the way up to today and the Right needs to stop speaking of Ronald Reagan as if he were a god of some kind. He was the master of the deficit spending model that, currently, still exists. Politicians need not be held accountable. They'll be gone in four to eight years and Americans, for generations, will be left to clean up their mess.
Jun 3, 2013 5:05PM
I suffer from no confusion at all, Obama-care needs repeal and everyone associated with this legislation needs to be removed from government in the next elections!
Jun 3, 2013 4:32PM
The people who wrote this thing don't even know what it says ro how it works. I do remember someone high up saying "don't worry you will be able to keep what you have if you want to and it wont go up in price". WOW another one of many wrong things HE has said. People of America you amaze me, because you actually reelected him.
Jun 3, 2013 3:02PM
obamacare needs to be repealed! jesse ventura for pres. 2016!!!
Jun 3, 2013 5:04PM
No surprise here.  Even the dumbells in Congress that voted the thing in didn't know what it was all about!  Remember Pelosi's moronic comment just before the vote was taken?
Jun 3, 2013 5:14PM
We know one way the Affordable Care Act affects us.  Despite the promise that "If you like the health care you have, you can keep it," our family doctor apologized about having to close his rural Family Practice, lay off his staff, and move to a hospital in a different city to become an EMPLOYEE.  Oh, I still have health insurance, but have lost my long-time trusted family doctor!  So, how is that keeping the health care I liked?
Jun 3, 2013 5:09PM
obamacare is confusing because obama is confused.
Jun 3, 2013 4:25PM

Someone;Just ask Barry S.He understands everthing in Obamacare.Him and his buddy Barney

Frank read the entire bill together after going to a movie together and reading the National

enquirer to each other.

Jun 3, 2013 6:21PM

Obamacare will Suck, for everyone except the President & Congress & Senate, who will not take  Obamacare, they want a Cadillac policy. Obamacare is not good enough for them. Whats up with that??


I would like to know who is saving 2500.00 a year, where are these people?


I pay 645.00 a month just for myself in premiums 65.00 dollars to visit the doctor, I am not a well person and recently had to stop working. I put out not including the monthly premiums over 10,000.00 dollars out of pocket for doctors & medications & deductible & copays. Am I expected to pay more through Obamacare? Now unemployed and going through the Disability Medicare system which will take about 2 years to get. I find myself not being able to carry medical insurance or treat my conditions @ the age of 58. So if I am alive in 2 years after no treatment, what will I have to pay in insurance premiums on a 1000.00 a month income and still live with a roof over my head?


Obamacare will bankrupted families, I just don't understand how he thinks people are going to be able to live.  He promised it would be by income status, an extreme affortable for everyone, but I have check out the plans and I am seeing almost 800.00 a month to get what I have already. How is this affordable??


How did Obama get re-election didn't people see what has been going on? Don't they listen to the news, read on the internet?


What is going on w/ our Representatives? They were elected to protect our interest, they have not done that, time to clean house in Congress & Senators no more re-elections we need to clear the air. They are not doing their jobs. Not only is the President guilty of not being able to relate to the Middle Class but neither can Congress & our Senators. People w/ money will never see the damage it is doing to the Middle Class.


Vote for Christy in 2016, he DOES understand the Middle Class he does not come from all this money, he knows the difficulty. He will be the best man to try and fix the problems.


I say STOP Foreign-Aid and take that money to give every American Citizen FREE Healthcare. This will take a huge burden off of people. Its time we used the our tax dollars and take care of Americans. We have so many Crisis's going on that we need to attend to. Times have changed when it comes to giving to other Countries, and they need to understand we have our own debt. Plus I could never understand why we borrow money to give it away to other Countries. We need to take care of American's and what better way, than to keep us healthy?

Jun 3, 2013 6:10PM
4 Months ago where I work we had to apply for new polices because our rates were going up 23%. We asked why and our agent said because of OC. Instead of paying 2500.00 yr. deductible it is now 5000.00 and family is 10000.00. I work with a lot  of employers and there is not going to be many full time jobs after 14 and these are going to be less than 27 hours a week so be prepared!
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