Health law? What health law?
Almost nine of 10 uninsured Americans – the group most likely to benefit — don’t know that the law’s second open enrollment period begins Nov. 15, according to a poll released Tuesday. Two-thirds of the uninsured say they know “only a little” or “nothing at all” about the law’s online insurance marketplaces where they can buy coverage if they don’t get it through their jobs. Just over half are unaware the law might give them financial help to buy coverage, according to a new poll.
Despite that lack of awareness, nearly 60 percent of those uninsured people say they plan to get coverage in the next few months, including 15 percent who say they’ll get it through an employer, 15 percent who say they’ll purchase it themselves and 8 percent who expect to get it through Medicaid. One in five respondents in the latest monthly tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation say they expect to get coverage but they’re not sure where. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation).
The poll found that most of those who expect to remain uninsured say they don’t think they can afford coverage (18 percent) or don’t want to be forced into buying a plan (12 percent). Three percent say they would rather pay the fine than pay for coverage.
Political prognostications earlier this year that the Affordable Care Act could be pivotal in the midterm elections have proven largely untrue. While about 6 in 10 voters say they’ve seen ads trying to influence their vote, 27 percent said the health law will be “extremely” important and just 8 percent picked it as the most important issue. Ranking higher were the economy (16 percent), dissatisfaction with government (12 percent) and education (10 percent), among other issues.