Guest post by Jessie Kavanagh, Master’s Student in Public Health, Hunter College
People with more knowledge about the ACA and health insurance were more likely to enroll in the Marketplaces, according to a new Enroll America survey. The July 2014 report, “Voices from the Newly Enrolled and Still Uninsured,” produced by Enroll America and PerryUndem Research/Communications, offers insights into why Americans decided whether or not to enroll through the newly created Marketplaces during the first open enrollment period. In particular, a large knowledge gap between insured and uninsured adults points to the need for more outreach and education on our health care system and ACA provisions.
The researchers surveyed adults across the US aged 18-64, and the report analyses are based on two sample groups: 671 enrolled adults and 853 uninsured adults.
Below are highlights of the survey findings:
Uninsured individuals need more information about financial assistance.
- Only 26% of uninsured people knew that financial assistance/subsidies were available through the Marketplace.
- Over half of the uninsured respondents assumed that insurance was too expensive and therefore decided against enrolling.
- 1 in 3 uninsured people began the enrollment process, but did not end up enrolling for various reasons such as concerns about cost.
Uninsured Americans need more information about ACA provisions and the healthcare system in general.
- Almost half of uninsured adults don’t understand the term “premium.”
- Only a quarter of the uninsured knew that preventive care is now free under the ACA.
More outreach and education is needed to reach Latinos and young adults in particular.
- 20% of Latinos said the Marketplace was too confusing as compared to only 9% of whites.
- Latinos and young adults were the most likely of the uninsured to not know about the open enrollment deadline and individual mandate.
- More than half of young adult respondents did not know they might be able to stay on their parent’s insurance until they turned 26.
Nearly half of uninsured respondents said they would “definitely,” or “probably” enroll next year if they are still uninsured. However, 42% were unsure. This shows how important it is to create more and better ways to reach and educate uninsured populations to ensure that no one goes without care.