1 in 5 don’t want health coverageNews added by Benefits Pro on July 31, 2014

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Kathryn Mayer

Though millions of Americans have gotten health coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a new report finds many more either are still unaware of their options or are simply not interested.

According to analysis from the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about 60 percent of the remaining uninsured population cite cost as the reason why they do not have health coverage. But another 20 percent simply say they don’t want it.

Awareness of the law — and its coverage options — still is problematic, the brief, which examined the remaining uninsured, found. It showed that 58.5 percent of the remaining uninsured have heard about the exchanges, but less than 40 percent know about the availability of subsidies to help make insurance premiums more affordable.

“For both the uninsured who did not visit the marketplace and for those who visited but may not have understood the information available, a different and more aggressive outreach and education plan is clearly necessary,” researchers said.

They also concluded that brokers, and forms of personal assistance, are vital to getting people insured.

“The findings reported here suggest that a nonwebsite approach may work better for many people. Adults who got beyond websites and received help from navigators, application assisters, and insurance agents, for example, were more prevalent among those who gained coverage than among those who remained uninsured.”

The report found that adults who said they never used a website — working solely through other sources of information— represented the largest share of adults who had been uninsured for some or all of the 12 months before the survey but had gained insurance as of June 2014.

“This strongly suggests that next year’s open enrollment period should recognize the important role played by direct assistance and include enough resources of this type in the application process, as opposed to simply making sure the websites are functioning,” the report said.

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