Survey says consumers needing coverage will keep trying to enrollNews added by Benefits Pro on November 5, 2013

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Dan Cook

“Determined to gain coverage” — that’s the attitude of most U.S. adults when asked about their intentions regarding the health insurance that will be available through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act public insurance exchanges.

This message comes through clearly in the data gathered by The Commonwealth Fund, in a survey of exchange-eligible adults conducted in October — the first month the exchanges were, at least in theory, open for business.

Commonwealth wanted to find out how savvy consumers were at that point about the exchanges and whether they were more or less interested in obtaining insurance via the exchanges.

What they uncovered was that 58 percent of adults “who either had not yet gone to their marketplace or had visited it but not yet enrolled in a plan said they were very or somewhat likely to visit by the end of the enrollment period (March 31, 2014) to enroll.”

The survey also revealed that a majority of respondents were aware that the exchanges existed — 60 percent. Of those surveyed, 17 percent visited an exchange in October to shop for a health plan. Twenty-one percent of those who shopped actually bought coverage, while 37 percent of those who didn't enroll said they were foiled in their attempts to do so by technical difficulties with the exchange.

Are those all-important millennials shopping for coverage yet? Commonwealth reports that “about one of five visitors were ages 19 to 29.”

Among people who visited the marketplaces and did not enroll, 48 percent in the survey said that they didn't do so because they weren't sure they could afford a plan. Another 46 percent said that they were still trying to decide which plan they wanted.

The surveys were done by phone and included the results from interviews with 682 adults between the ages of 19 and 64.

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