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Many newly eligible for Obamacare unsure they'll buy

Even Americans with pre-existing conditions don't know if they'll purchase insurance under the new law, a survey finds.

By Mitch Lipka Aug 9, 2013 2:35PM

Medical doctor (© Digital Vision/Getty Images)Despite the coming opportunity -- and requirement -- under Obamacare for those with pre-existing conditions to buy health insurance, the vast majority of those in that situation still don't know if they will, a survey found.

Some 68% of uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions said they're not sure if they will buy health insurance, a report by said. That's despite the requirement under the law for all Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. The new law prevents anyone from being denied health insurance due to an existing medical condition.

"It’s really surprising how few people with pre-existing conditions are planning to purchase health insurance, especially since a key goal of the Affordable Care Act is to provide affordable health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions,” said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst for the site.

Part of that appears to be a lack of understanding of exactly what is going to change when the health care law ramps up. Some key deadlines are approaching, including the opening of marketplaces for consumers to comparison-shop for health insurance beginning Oct. 1 and to get policies that go into effect on Jan. 1.

The survey, of 3,000 Americans interviewed in July by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, found that the vast majority of people surveyed felt that they didn't have enough information about the changes that are coming. About 85% said they don't think they've learned enough about Obamacare, and 69% said they didn't have enough information to know how the law would affect their finances.

Among those with pre-existing conditions, less than 20% said they are certain they will buy insurance as it becomes available. An additional 14% said they will not. The rest weren't sure. More than one-third of Americans have a pre-existing condition, said.

"Many observers are worried that healthy Americans won’t sign up for health insurance next year," Adams said. "This research suggests that we should also be worried about unhealthy Americans failing to enroll."

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Aug 9, 2013 6:05PM
Obama care so far seems to be the worst piece of legislation passed in the last decade creating a giant whole new entitlement class that will be supported by the taxpayers because the things in the bill that were supposed to pay for it all are not happening and/or  are being "tweeked" and loop holed already by congress.  What a piece of crap this bill is.  It won't save our country as a whole one single dime and I don't know why they would name this bill the "Affordable Care Act" as it is only going to cost us all more.... except those on the dole getting a voucher.    Of course the insurance companies are still going to make boat loads of money.
Aug 10, 2013 9:38AM
The articles on Obamacare always get my goat.

Look, the fact is that there are not detailed plans to review yet - any intelligent person wants to see the details before they sign up. 

Since you can't yet as the states don't have the details yet, then why wouldn't people say they don't know enough to make a decision.  Yet the articles and govt. make it sound like the public are idiots because they aren't blindly committing to buying some pig in a poke, site unseen.  

Only a fool signs a document they have not read ... oh, sorry. Guess they want us to be like Congress was when they signed it into law.

 Bottom line, until the available programs are defined for review the public can't make any decisions. Unfortunately for the govt., once they can see the details in print they may not like what they see. 
Aug 11, 2013 12:55PM

What bothers me is the lack of a "pre-existing condition"  clause -  or even waiting period.  Maybe some one who read the 1200 page bill can explain it.  Why wouldn't a young, healthy person who has heretofore not seen fit to purchase health insurance suddenly buy this???  Why not just wait until he is diagnosed with a disease and then buy it? 


And what about all the people, at least in my city, who go to the county health facilities for free?  I was there once to receive some vaccinations, saw the posters and have since visited the website -  free mammograms, free pregnancy care, free this and free that ---  all well and good if you qualify as a low-income patient, don't get me wrong.  But as it is already free to these folks, why would they buy Obamacare? 


I am struggling to understand just who it is that will be buying Obamacare?   So far I hear everyone crying out for it -- so long as it is some one else who is buying it.  The young and healthy probably don't want it, the people that are already getting free healthcare don't want it, Congress doesn't want it, the Unions don't want it, seniors don't want it...  so who, exactly is clambering for it? Who are it's customers?  Any answers out there?

Aug 11, 2013 12:41PM
lets rename it. call it the feel good helping others get healthcare while we sock it to the middle class bill.
Aug 12, 2013 4:01PM
the whole rotten piece of $hit law needs to be stuck up the collective ****'s of the elitest  bastards who signed it
Aug 11, 2013 12:29PM
my gut tells me even the 30 million uninsured poor who will get it nearly for free will balk. my understanding is they will now have to pay something, a token amount. my guess is these people are allready getting health assistance at numerous health clinics at the state or local levels. the parent children centers, etc.
Aug 20, 2013 1:20PM
If it were any good, why aren't the senators, the president, and everyone else in Washington on it? Oh, because they are exempt and have their own solid gold plan that We the People can't have!
Aug 31, 2013 1:10AM

Affordable!?!?!?! Oh, my freaking God!  I just did the Covered California website to find out what it will cost me to buy coverage for myself.  They think that nearly 400 freaking dollars a month is affordable! 

Democrats don't just got a hard-on for the "rich" who make $200k/year, they want to break the slobs like me who take in 40k/year (before taxes) too!

Aug 26, 2013 3:41PM
Why would you penalize one for not having healthcare insurance? Does this mean the freeloading welfare people that I am supporting will be penalized?? I think not!!! If you are rich or poor in this country you make out well, it is the middle class who always gets screwed. Do you think the politicians care? NOT!!! That is why I do not vote!!
Aug 31, 2013 1:25AM

Wow.  I ran the numbers on the Covered California site for a minimum-wage family of 3 bringing in $30k/year.  They can get the Silver 70 plan for a mere $98/month.  On top of: rent, food, diapers, utilities, vehicle maintenance, gas, insurance & registration, clothing.  This isn't even affordable for them.

The democrats want to make sure victims stay victims.  What is left for them?

Aug 15, 2013 6:17PM
All I hear about Obamacare is complaining from the GOP, hot air from the news pundits, and piecemeal articles by writers who know little about the above !   Oh yea, and the Obama haters.  So, until I know how it will affect me, and what the cost will be, I have no idea if I will buy insurance or not.  I would guess that nobody else really does either !
Sep 21, 2013 4:42PM
With Obamacare there will be not people enjoying free services paid buy de PEOPLE .YOU AND ME .
Aug 9, 2013 3:39PM
At least if they don't buy they still need to pay something toward their care, even if it is just the penalty.  Right now they can use the ER basically for free anyway.
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