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Wilbert Jones helps local residents sign up for the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as
One of the most consistent themes in the monthly health tracking poll done since the passage of the Affordable Care Act by Kaiser Family Foundation—the gold standard of polling on the law—has been the very high percentage of uninsured people who don't understand the law. Here's just one example from March 2013. A new survey by PerryUndem Research for Enroll America
polled both people who are newly insured and still uninsured, and it shows how problematic that lack of knowledge is. Most tellingly, 60 percent of those surveyed wanted to get insurance, but didn't think they could afford it. Only one in five in this group knew that they might qualify for a subsidy to help pay for the premium.

The pollster, Mike Perry, says, "There was a disconnect for that group. […] You don't shop for insurance if you can't pay for insurance." So they didn't try. Meanwhile 80 percent of enrollees qualified for the subsidies. But it's not all bad news.

The next open enrollment period for Obamacare begins Nov. 15, although people whose circumstances change dramatically—through marriage, job change, or birth of a child—can qualify for a special window in which to enroll.

The survey showed 84 percent of those who remain uninsured are open to getting coverage next time.

"Regardless of their feelings about the politics of the Affordable Care Act, they were interested. They were engaged," Perry said.

Among other key findings: 40 percent enrolled because of the individual mandate, though being able to see a doctor and avoiding big medical bill were the other prime motivators; 74 percent of enrollees are confident they can afford their premiums; 61 percent who didn't enroll wanted coverage, and again, 84 percent of the uninsured are likely to at least look for coverage in the next enrollment period. Just 15 percent say they don't want to get health insurance. Clearly, the efforts to educate people on the law must continue to help get those people on board.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  having (9+ / 0-)

    the experience of doing this, it is interesting how ACA signups are relatively easy, but the expediting of completing the membership process is complex and unevenly supported with of course some healthcare networks actively discouraging it when you contact them on the phone

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:05:01 PM PDT

  •  To what extent are the tax preparation (6+ / 0-)

    software and services likely to help steer unenrolled taxpayers to the proper enrollment site?

    Something like this seems practical and helpful:

    Your refund is $83.  It would have been $183, but your tax bill includes a $100 penalty for not having enrolled in a qualified health plan.  Based on your income, you may qualify for family plans in your state costing as little as $107. per month.  Would you like a list of plans?
    •  There should be a dedicated ACA team at the WH (5+ / 0-)

      working with a dedicated ACA team at HHS trying to educate people about the law and doing all sorts of marketing campaigns. This should be a 365 day effort and not just during the enrollment period.

      One problem that could have been a disaster for the Democrats has been nipped in the bud by the Obama administration.

      Employers, even big ones like GE, were looking to dump their employees, especially sicker employees, on to the exchanges. IRS has stepped in to tell them, "Not so fast."

      I.R.S. Bars Employers From Dumping Workers Into Health Exchanges

      WASHINGTON — Many employers had thought they could shift health costs to the government by sending their employees to a health insurance exchange with a tax-free contribution of cash to help pay premiums, but the Obama administration has squelched the idea in a new ruling. Such arrangements do not satisfy the health care law, the administration said, and employers may be subject to a tax penalty of $100 a day — or $36,500 a year — for each employee who goes into the individual marketplace.

      The ruling this month, by the Internal Revenue Service, blocks any wholesale move by employers to dump employees into the exchanges.

      Under a central provision of the health care law, larger employers are required to offer health coverage to full-time workers, or else the employers may be subject to penalties.

      Continue reading the main story

      David Cordani of Cigna said the insurer planned to expand beyond the five states where it offers coverage on the exchanges.Insurers Once on the Fence Plan to Join Health Exchanges in ’15MAY 25, 2014
      Many employers — some that now offer coverage and some that do not — had concluded that it would be cheaper to provide each employee with a lump sum of money to buy insurance on an exchange, instead of providing coverage directly.

      But the Obama administration raised objections, contained in an authoritative question-and-answer document released by the Internal Revenue Service, in consultation with other agencies.

      The health law, known as the Affordable Care Act, builds on the current system of employer-based health insurance. The administration, like many in Congress, wants employers to continue to provide coverage to workers and their families.

      “I don’t think that an employer-based system is going to be, or should be, replaced anytime soon,” President Obama said recently, when asked if the law might speed the erosion of employer-sponsored insurance.

  •  It strikes me that (8+ / 0-)

    this situation is exacerbated by the red states' intransigence and putting obstacles in the way of navigators:

    A new survey by PerryUndem Research for Enroll America polled both people who are newly insured and still uninsured, and it shows how problematic that lack of knowledge is. Most tellingly, 60 percent of those surveyed wanted to get insurance, but didn't think they could afford it. Only one in five in this group knew that they might qualify for a subsidy to help pay for the premium
    Of course the constant drumbeat of misinformation from Faux a News and elected Republicans doesn't help either.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

    by lcbo on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:36:46 PM PDT

  •  I would probably be on Medicaid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if Corbett didn't refuse to expand it.

    Refusenik stater here, checking in. Maybe next year. But my job doesn't really pay me enough to afford their crummy plan.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:43:19 PM PDT

  •  When you win two major national elections, thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md

    in part to "spreading the word" - how is it that these guys can't do the same for ACA?  There are so many ways (more ferns, anyone?) this administration knows how to reach people yet their signature legacy is still stumbling, when it should be running fast.  Admittedly, this is also the signature manner in which this administration has done things - great campaign, not so hot follow through. And although much can be laid at the feet of the obstructplicans, a lot more could have been done to fight it and get points for the good guys. Face it, they fumbled the ball on the ten yard line.

    You all laugh because I'm different; I laugh because you're all the same

    by sajiocity on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:54:52 PM PDT

  •  It's no different than learning a new app... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md, Mr Robert, Creosote

    I have seen people give up after 3 tries of using something.

    Whether it be a new app, a new device, a book, some kind of new art, new music, new anything...

    The first time using something and you get deflected, you give up if you are not a persistently curious person.

    This is the reason for navigators, for phone assistants and so on.

    In fact, I think that getting deflected may be more of a barrier than the cost. People can afford lots of things that they can't afford (yes, I realize...). But what they can't deal with well so much is that first time using something.

    It was that way with Medicare Part D, with a lot of good things that had poorly designed delivery systems, interfaces or calling systems.

    Fix that, and you will see how well it works.

    Ugh. --UB.

    Postdatum: And this is the same principle used to prevent voting...

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Mon May 26, 2014 at 05:22:26 PM PDT

  •  A recent article gives reasons why many people (0+ / 0-)

    in California did not enroll by April 15. Briefly, there was confusion over the health care law:

    Some people thought they didn't have to meet the new health law's deadline because they didn't qualify for a premium subsidy from the federal government.... Others thought that only people who wanted to purchase insurance through Covered California, the state's health benefit exchange, had to do so by March 31....  And, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey in March, more than 60% of those without health coverage were unaware of the enrollment deadline for most people to sign up for individual health coverage.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Mon May 26, 2014 at 05:28:57 PM PDT

  •  My biggest disappointment has been a lack of (5+ / 0-)

    left leaning Super PACS advertising and selling this law.  I really wish Obama would bless a Super PAC to do just this (like he did in 2012 election). There is no countervailing ads to the Koch's and their distortion advertisement.

    I would like to see two kinds. 1 have a middle aged or middle class white working class Midwest couple talking about how they finally have insurance. Make this an emotional appeal.

    Have a few nuts and bolts advertisements explaining how to sign up and the fact that many folks will get subsidies. Run these on youth friendly places (hip hop radio, MTV, comedy central, etc)

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 05:29:26 PM PDT

    •  I know its not hard... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      To run a 30 second add that goes
      "Go to the obamacare exchange and you get get medicaid for free if you earn less then 15,000, you can get health comprehensive insurance for around 150 a month with income around 25,000, and you can get it for around 200 a month if your income is around 30,000.

      We only think nothing goes without saying.

      by Hamtree on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:21:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Have you considered that the PACS (0+ / 0-)

      that supported Obama have an agenda that may be diametrically opposed to what the ACA represents?

      Political funding and what the administration offers up may or may not be in sync and in this case I expect that the PACS aren't that keen on the ACA.

      Could it be that the money is in the hands of the same folks who were wheeling and dealing with the administration prior to the passage of the ACA?

      I expect that we will never understand what's behind the flow of dollars for and against the ACA.

      We're dealing with a lot of back room deals that we have little chance of making sense of.

      My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

      by Mr Robert on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:43:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert

        A combo of wealthy left leaning groups (lawyers, unions, Hollywood),  and people who would benefit (insurance companies, hospital corps, etc) could finance a Super PAC to do this.

        Yes many (if not most) of the money behind the POTUS reelection PACs were there to get a piece of the action if he won. But even 10-20% of the money he raised would be more than enough to do this. A lot of these ads wouldn't need to be run in big markets, in big swing states, during and election cycle (read: expensive). They could get max bang for their buck running in secondary markets throughout the US.  

        -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

        by dopper0189 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 04:09:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Cost barrier (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, ybruti, Mr Robert

    I just signed up, and a bronze plan will be $850 a month for spouse and myself, no subsidy. Although we can "afford" it, it's the single most expensive bill we have by far.  Here's hoping we don't have a lot of out of pocket before the individual $6K deductibles are met. I can see how some in different circumstances would say "f-it".

    If a terrorist pollutes your water but creates jobs, is that ok?

    by Cecile on Mon May 26, 2014 at 05:36:40 PM PDT

    •  Same here (0+ / 0-)

      I can see how a lot of folks would say fuck it!

      That's what I did when my insurance premium passed $600 a month. I stopped paying and that was the best decision I could have made at the time.

      As a matter of fact being uninsured saved me big bucks a few years back. Had I been insured I wouldn't have qualified for "charity care" when I ran up a $25,000 hospital bill.

      My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

      by Mr Robert on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:47:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  an then there is the craptastic reporting (0+ / 0-)

    NPR - Frustrated By The Affordable Care Act, One Family Opts Out

    Such negligence. It should be "one family makes a lot of stupid decisions and gets very lucky at the end." I guess you can turn any screwed up insurance coverage problem into an "Obamacare doesn't work" story without to much effort.

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