Short Takes On News & Events

Study: Newly Insured Likely To Be Healthy, And To Have Trouble Deciphering Health System

By Julie Appleby

October 2nd, 2012, 3:12 PM

Good news for insurers: 88 percent of people new to health coverage after the health law fully goes into effect will be in relatively good health.  That means providers won’t be overwhelmed, at least initially, says a report out today by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The challenge, however, is the newly insured also will be less educated, slightly older and less likely to speak English than people who currently have insurance, the report says. So, while doctors and hospitals will have more paying customers, the report predicts that the newly insured are “more likely to have difficulty with English and be unaccustomed to deciphering the vagaries of the health system.”

The report also examines how far along states are in preparing to run their own insurance marketplaces, called exchanges, where individuals and small businesses can shop for coverage.

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