7M Americans have utilized Obamacare, but many uninsured have issues with ACA, survey finds

Beth Fitzgerald//January 14, 2015//

7M Americans have utilized Obamacare, but many uninsured have issues with ACA, survey finds

Beth Fitzgerald//January 14, 2015//

Listen to this article

More than 7 million Americans have purchased health coverage through the online insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, but the 17 percent of Americans who remain uninsured cite affordability, disagreement with the ACA, lack of knowledge that the ACA requires them to get covered and uncertainty about how to apply, among their top…These are among the findings of a new Harris Poll conducted on behalf of the Transamerica Center for Health Studies.

The survey found that more than half (52 percent) of uninsured Americans are not informed about the ACA, and nearly four in 10 claim to have not heard about the health exchanges. Sixty-two percent of uninsured Americans have heard of the exchanges, but only 3 percent have called one of the exchanges or spoken with a navigator or guide about an exchange.

Nearly 162,000 New Jerseyans have gotten covered at the HealthCare.gov exchange, and more than 80 percent of them qualify for federal subsidies to help defray the cost of coverage.

While most of the uninsured said they are uncertain of their health insurance plans, 26 percent plan to obtain or apply for new coverage in 2015. 

Click here to subscribe to the NJBIZ e-newsletters

“Our survey results tell us that, despite a significant increase in the number of Americans now carrying insurance, the remaining uninsured continue to be the least informed about how and where to get health care insurance,” said Hector De La Torre, executive director of the Transamerica Center for Health Studies. “The uninsured continue to disproportionally be younger, less likely to be employed and less able to afford routine health costs than the general population.”

The survey found the majority of Americans are satisfied with most elements of the health care system today and 63 percent do not plan on making any changes to their health care in 2015. The general population is most satisfied with the health care system’s focus on preventive care (79 percent) and their health insurance access (77 percent). However, nearly four in 10 are dissatisfied with the wellness discounts available through their employers and are particularly interested in more offerings related to preventive screenings/vaccinations, exercise programs and healthy food options.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • While only 25 percent of uninsured Americans can afford routine health expenses, 90 percent of continuously insured Americans and 61 percent of newly insured Americans are able to afford their routine health expenses.
  • More than half of the general population pays less than $1,000 in insurance premiums annually; 16 percent pay more than $3,000 per year.
  • Eighty percent of uninsured Americans state that they spend less than $500 a year on routine health expenses, compared with 72 percent of the newly insured and 55 percent of the continuously insured who state the same.
  • More than half (54 percent) of Americans oppose the new law’s requirement to acquire health insurance or pay a tax penalty for opting out.

The survey found that, since the introduction of the ACA, more than half of Americans (56 percent) are now more concerned about being able to regain insurance coverage if they were to lose what they have now, and 44 percent are now less concerned.

Nearly one in five Americans said their employers may change insurance plan options in the upcoming year.

  • Half of the general population does not expect their employer to make any changes to their health care benefits.
  • However, 12 percent believe that their employer will reduce or eliminate a company contribution to cover health insurance costs.


State of the State: Christie praises incentives, omits Transportation Trust Fund

Exclusive: One of state’s top marketing firms buying one of its biggest creative agencies

Georgia offered Mercedes more than $23M in incentives to move, report says