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Americans Are Unaware of Federal Assistance with Insurance

Posted on October 14, 2012 by admin

Knowledge is power, as they say. It’s the world’s most valuable commodity. Unfortunately, a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that many Americans who enrolled in Obamacare are lacking in this department.

First of all, the Department of Health and Human Services released the numbers behind Affordable Care Act enrollment this month. One statistic revealed that 85 percent of those who enrolled were eligible for premium subsidies, aka federal help to pay for insurance. Going back to the Kaiser study, only 46 percent of those polled reported receiving federal insurance help.

To provide insight into the survey, 742 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 were interviewed over the phone. The study lasted from April 3 to May 11 of this year, a period soon after the conclusion of the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment. Clearly, variety was taken into consideration in this study, both as it pertains to age and the time of the interview. So the study can be seen as a suitable portrait of the overall enrolled population.

Given all of the above information, why did only 46 percent of those polled say that they were receiving federal assistance? The reason is not because the subsidy amounts are negligible. As a matter of fact, federal assistance reduces payments on premiums by an average of 76 percent. The simple and plain truth is likely that these enrolled Americans are ignorant of all of the benefits the government is offering.

For each and every one of these citizens, this is a problem.

The Kaiser Family Foundation survey also asked Americans how they felt about the affordability of their premiums. 29 percent of those in new health plans said that they found it “somewhat difficult” to pay for their monthly insurance. 14 percent went even further, saying it was “very difficult” to do so. These may be the same people ignorant of the benefits being left on the table. There is a chance that their struggles could be solved in an instant: all they would have to do is acknowledge their eligibility.

It’s difficult to see success within arm’s reach but not have the ability to grab it. This is the situation the Obama administration currently faces. They have released the figures behind the Affordable Care Act. They have shown the percentage of enrollees who are eligible. But it is not enough. Though their healthcare law has proven effective in its ability to enroll Americans, they must work hard to erase the ignorance and make the eligibility message known. They must help their citizens help themselves.