Many uninsured plan to stay that way
In a new survey, most Americans say they know about the coming changes to health care, but many claim they don't care.
This post is from Barbara Marquand of partner site Insure.com.
Most Americans know that the Affordable Care Act requires them to have health insurance in 2014, but only about half of those who are uninsured plan to have coverage by Jan. 1, according to a survey commissioned by Insure.com.
In the poll of 2,000 adults under age 65, 88% said they are aware of the individual mandate, the health care reform provision requiring most Americans to have coverage next year.
About 23% said they don't have health insurance now. Of those uninsured, almost one-third (32%) said they don't know whether they will have coverage by Jan. 1, and another 16% said they do not plan to have health insurance by then. Fifty-one percent said that they will buy health insurance.
Older adults and women less certain
Knowledge of the individual mandate varies by age and gender, as does the certainty about having coverage for next year. Among the survey findings:
- Women are slightly more aware of the mandate than men -- 90% versus 85%, respectively.
- Younger people are least informed about the mandate. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 79% said they are aware of the health insurance requirement, versus 89% of those between ages 30 and 49. Older adults are most aware of the mandate, with 93% of those ages 50 to 64 saying they know about the requirement.
- But among the uninsured, a smaller portion of older adults plan to have coverage by Jan. 1 compared to young adults. Of uninsured 50- to 64-year-olds, just 45% said they will have health insurance by 2014, compared to 49% of respondents ages 40 to 49, 56% of 30 to 39-year-olds and 55% of 18- to 29-year-olds.
- Uninsured men are more certain they will have coverage by Jan. 1 than women. Among uninsured men, 58% said they plan to have health insurance, compared to 44% of uninsured women. Thirty-nine percent of uninsured women said they don't know if they will have coverage, versus just 26% of uninsured men, and 16% of both uninsured women and men said they will not have coverage by Jan. 1.
The survey results come as the new state and federally administered health insurance marketplaces, also called exchanges, prepare to open Oct. 1. Through the online marketplaces individuals can apply for government discounts and subsidies to help them afford health insurance, and they can compare and buy plans from participating private insurance companies. They can also see if they or their children qualify for government-funded health insurance programs -- Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Outside the marketplaces, consumers can get coverage through their employers or buy health plans directly from insurance companies or through health insurance agents or insurance websites.
Most people are aware that the law established new health insurance marketplaces, but almost half of the respondents don't understand how they will work. We asked people to rate their awareness on a scale of one to five, with five being high awareness. The poll found:
- Sixty-eight percent said they have at least an average awareness of the marketplaces (rating themselves three or higher).
- But in terms of understanding how the marketplaces will work in their states, 48% said they have little or no understanding (rating themselves a one or two on the scale).
- Younger people are more confident in their understanding than older people. On the one-to-five scale, 18- to 29-year-olds, on average, rate their own understanding of the marketplaces at 2.9, while people ages 50 to 64 rate themselves, on average, at 2.25.
How will they get covered?
Of people who plan to buy or change health plans for 2014, about one in five plan to shop in the state health insurance marketplaces. Others will enroll at work, go on a spouse's or parent's plan or contact health insurance carriers directly. In addition some will work with health insurance agents or shop on websites selling plans from multiple health insurers.
Women are much more likely to rely on a spouse's coverage than men. Of insured women, 24% are on a spouse's work-based plan, compared to just 3% of insured men.
Meanwhile, Americans are divided about whether the Affordable Care Act should be repealed -– and many simply don’t have an opinion. Forty-two percent said Congress should repeal it, and 37% said Congress should focus their efforts on implementing it. About 21% said they don't know.
Men are slightly more opposed to the Affordable Care Act than women, and women are more undecided than men. Among men, 44% said the law should be repealed, compared to 40% of women. Twenty-four percent of women said they don't know whether the law should be implemented or repealed, versus 18% of men.
Where will people who plan to buy or change plans get their health insurance for 2014?
- Through work: 24%
- State health insurance marketplace: 21%
- Directly from health insurers outside the state marketplace: 14%
- Health insurance agent: 14%
- Website representing multiple health insurance carriers: 13%
- Parent's plan: 8%
- Spouse's workplace plan: 7%
Insure.com commissioned Op4G to conduct an online-panel survey of 2,000 Americans age 18 to 64. Respondents were evenly split between men and women and also among age ranges. The survey was fielded in September 2013.
Insure.com related links:
- Obamacare health plans and prescription drugs
- Health care reform will let you quit your job
- 10 things health plans can and can’t do in 2014
It has always been my philosophy that you take care of yourself. This mandate means but one thing to me, that now, by law, I must pay for the deadbeats, the illegals and the politicians. I know someone is making lots of money from this deal and the American people have to pay for it.
I don't like it. Things like this were cause for the revolution in 1776. We're back to taxation without representation. We have a government, who cares not for the people and one that, I think, is pushing for another revolution. If they keep it up much longer they may just get it. Don't they wonder why people all over are going berserk? It's from the frustration caused by the government and all the weird drugs that are allowed, by the same government, to hit the market. The side effects are worse than what they attempt to cure.
When you're sick it doesn't matter what party you affiliate yourself with, so lets look at the facts as they pertain to Obamacare. It amazes me how little you armchair experts know about Obamacare. There will be a panel of 15 appointed bureaucrats called The Independent Payment Advisory Board, that aren't accountable to congress or any medical board, that will be making decisions on what treatment you will or will not receive, and their decision is FINAL. If you lose or change from existing coverage, you must purchase the new insurance. The word exchange isn't appropriate since what you are giving up is so much better than what you are getting. The way private insurance worked is medical treatment decisions were between you and your doctor, and if a treatment option was refused, your doctor had the right to arbitration on your behalf, it happens all the time with a favorable outcome in most cases. Under the new plans, this is out of the question. This isn't about access, it's about control and who pays. Oh, and by the way you can't offer to pay for a treatment out of pocket that is refused if your doctor's a provider for the new insurance, that's against the law. That same rule now applies to Medicare and Medicaid now that it too has been reformed. Medical tourism will be the only option for those who can afford it if a refusal is issued. Many Canadian's come to the US by way of medical tourism because they have life threatening conditions that are either taking too long to get treatment, or are just flat out refused. Your health is your biggest wealth and I want my doctor and myself to make the decisions!!
It would be cheaper to just give 30 million people insurance than it cost for this stupid job killing bill that will ultimately ration care and lead to higher mortality rates.
Let's see. Forcing me to buy a product I neither want nor need and penalizing me for failing to comply.
Is this America in 2013 or Nazi Germany in 1942?
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