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Gallup: Many uninsured adults unaware of PPACA mandate

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Pollsters at Gallup have found that many uninsured U.S. adults are about as disconnected from sources of news about health insurance as they are from health insurance.

Jeffrey Jones, an analyst at Gallup, has reported that finding in a summary of results from a telephone interview of 2,048 adults ages 18 and older in June. The poll participants live in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The sample included 234 people who had no health insurance.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) calls for most individual taxpayers who can afford health coverage to either have “minimum essential coverage” or else pay a tax. The coverage ownership mandate is set to take effect in 2014.

Members of the Gallup survey team told participants that PPACA will require most U.S. residents to buy “purchase health insurance or pay a fine.”

“Were you aware of this before now?” the survey workers asked.

About 85 percent of the insured participants said they had been aware of the PPACA coverage mandate, but only 56 percent of the uninsured participants said they had known about the mandate.

About 14 percent of the insured participants and 43 percent of the uninsured participants said they had not known about the mandate.

Only 7 percent of the uninsured participants gave “don’t need it,” “healthy,” or “don’t get sick” as the main reason for not having health coverage.

About 67 percent said they lack coverage because they can’t afford coverage or are unable to pay for coverage because they are unemployed.

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