Half of Uninsured Don't Intend to Sign Up for Health Coverage

Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows most respondents unaware of March 31 deadline

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About 50 percent of uninsured adults do not intend to sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act's health care exchanges, according to an article published March 26 in Medical Economics.

Jeffrey Bendix, a senior editor at Medical Economics, discusses the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, which showed that 50 percent of uninsured adults, aged 18 to 64 years, do not intend to sign up for health insurance coverage via health care exchanges, while 40 percent plan to do so, and 10 percent didn't know or didn't respond. Most of the uninsured (two-thirds) reported that they had not yet tried to obtain coverage. Those who had tried to obtain coverage had done so though a state or federal exchange, Medicaid, their employer, or a private insurance company.

According to Bendix, as of March 1, 4.2 million people had signed up for insurance through the health care exchanges. A special enrollment period is being instituted to allow those who have begun but not completed enrollment though an exchange by March 31 to obtain an extension. One-third of those without insurance did not know that they were required to have coverage or face a fine, and nearly 60 percent of respondents were unaware that the enrollment deadline was March 31.

"The bad news is that large numbers of Americans don't know about these and other provisions of the law," Bendix writes.

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Kaiser Family Foundation Poll

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