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Life Health > Health Insurance

9 in 10 uninsured unaware of PPACA enrollment

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The second round of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) open enrollment is a mere few weeks away, but apparently, no one knows that.

Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) of the nation’s uninsured are unaware that open enrollment begins November 15 — including 76 percent who say they don’t know when open enrollment begins and another 13 percent who name a start date other than next month, according to the latest tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

PPACA’s open enrollment period runs Nov. 15-Feb. 15.

Adding to the problem, two-thirds of the uninsured say they know “only a little” or “nothing at all” about the exchanges and just over half (53 percent) are unaware of the financial assistance available to help low- and moderate-income individuals purchase insurance.

The latest tracking poll, out Tuesday, is the latest indicator of continued confusion and unawareness of PPACA, especially among the key demographic the law is most meant to help. Similarly, a survey from Transamerica Center for Health Studies recently found that 46 percent of those who remain uninsured say they still haven’t heard of the individual mandate, and 43 percent have not heard of the exchanges.

Despite the lack of awareness, nearly 60 percent of the uninsureds told Kaiser they plan to get coverage in the next few months, including 15 percent who say they’ll get it through an employer, 15 percent who say they’ll purchase it themselves and 8 percent who expect to get it through Medicaid. One in five respondents said they expect to get coverage but they’re not sure where.

The nation’s uninsured rate has dropped considerably since implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Gallup figures put the uninsured rate at 13.4 percent.

The majority of those who remain uninsured say it’s because they think they will not be able to find an affordable plan (18 percent of the uninsured overall) or they don’t want to be forced to buy anything (12 percent, including 3 percent who say they would rather pay the fine than pay for coverage).

Kaiser’s poll also found few changes in public opinion of PPACA, with more people continuing to view it unfavorably (43 percent) than favorably (36 percent). More people also said the law has a negative impact than a positive one on them and their families.

Kaiser surveyed more than 1,500 adults.


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