Many uninsured yet to seek PPACA coverage

By BenefitsPro

By Kathryn Mayer

Tick tock. With just a week left to go before the enrollment deadline, new data shows that almost half of uninsured respondents still haven’t looked for information on PPACA’s exchanges, and don’t plan to.

That is one of the findings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute, whose data is similar to other recent findings about the exchanges showing that the uninsured continue to remain uneducated and confused about coverage under the law.

They found that 48 percent of uninsured respondents did not plan on looking for information on the exchanges or had not heard about them.

On the other hand, those who haven’t looked yet said they might if they knew more about the financial assistance available or knew where to go to explore their options or enroll in a plan.

Also, 52 percent of uninsured respondents said they have looked into their options under the law — or at least are planning to before the March 31 deadline.

The survey finds that those who are unaware of the exchanges are more likely to be younger, Hispanic, not working, and have lower incomes than other uninsured people.

While lack of education about the law is the main barrier to getting coverage, cost is another significant hurdle. Others cited the website’s unworkability, not knowing where to find information and not having time as reasons for not seeking coverage.

“While almost half of the America’s uninsured have yet to look at their options in the marketplaces, it’s not because they don’t want health insurance,” said Katherine Hempstead, who leads coverage issues at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Many of the uninsured who have not yet looked at the marketplaces know little or nothing about them and the opportunities for financial assistance to help purchase a plan. That’s why it’s so important to get the word out in the final days of the open enrollment period.”

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