Uninsured Who Passed on Obamacare Said it was Because of Cost but Most Didn't Bother to get a Quote
NEW YORK (MainStreet) Uninsured Americans who passed on signing up for Obamacare say the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was anything but affordable and the reason they didn't buy health insurance prior to this week's deadline was because of the high cost of coverage. However, most didn't even bother to get a quote or determine if they qualified for a subsidy, according to research from nonpartisan Market Strategies International.
A large majority (70%) of U.S. adults who have been without health insurance for at least six months said they didn't plan to enroll before Monday's deadline. Of those, 81% said the high cost of healthcare coverage was one of the reasons why, but less than a third (32%) had actually visited a federal or state exchange website. And 29% ignored the issue altogether, not even discussing healthcare insurance with friends or family, much less looking to obtain a quote.
The ultimate irony? Almost 85% of those saying cost was a concern would have been eligible for a subsidized plan offering a discount.
"What we found is that those individuals who were the primary reason behind the ACA and its subsidies -- the low-income, uninsured -- seem to have made the assumption that health insurance remains unaffordable to them, often without exploring whether a subsidy would help them afford it," said Susan McIntyre, managing director of healthcare at Market Strategies International.
The second most common reason for skipping coverage was disagreement with the ACA's individual mandate requiring purchase of a qualifying plan, cited by more than half of survey respondents (55%). More than one quarter (28%) admitted they were influenced by the media coverage of the issues plaguing health care exchanges.
"Even more concerning is that compared with those who [intended] to enroll prior to the deadline, those forgoing insurance are more likely to be older and have a chronic condition that would benefit from access to health care, including preventive and primary care services that can hold down healthcare costs over time," McIntyre added.
--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet