Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes consistent headlines in the healthcare community, the vast majority of America’s uninsured are unaware about the upcoming open enrollment, which starts on November 15th. This is according to the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Health Tracking Poll.
Additionally, over half of voters polled responded that they are “tired of hearing Congressional candidates talk about the ACA and wish they would move on to other issues.” Here’s a look at the October Tracking Poll.
America’s Uninsured Unaware of Upcoming Open Enrollment Period
When polling uninsured voters, KFF found that nearly nine out of ten (89 percent) of uninsured respondents said they do not know when the next annual open enrollment period begins, with over 60 percent of uninsured saying they know “only a little” or “nothing at all” about where to find individual insurance.
Who are America’s Uninsured?
Of the uninsured voters polled by KFF, over 60 percent report family income of less than $30,000, and 46 percent report having been uninsured for 2 or more years.
Although over half of this group plans on getting insurance in the next few months, of those who intend to remain uninsured they list affordability as the largest barrier. This perception is likely to change in the coming years as individual insurance, post ACA, is more affordable than nearly all corresponding group health insurance plans.
Politicization of the Affordable Care Act
Views on the ACA fall largely in line with U.S. political affiliations. Of the respondents with a favorable view of the healthcare law, 74 percent would like candidates to move on to other issues, while about 60 percent of respondents with a negative view of the law would like the debate surrounding the ACA to continue.
When broken down by political party, the numbers are nearly identical. About 70 percent of Democrats want to debate new issues, while 62% of Republicans want to continue the discussion on the ACA.
When asked if they had been affected by the ACA, Democrats were 2.8 times more likely to report being helped by the ACA, while Republicans were 16 times more likely to report being hurt.
What Can We Learn Going Into Open Enrollment?
As the poll found, there is a significant knowledge gap in the American workforce surrounding the cost and accessibility of the Affordable Care Act. With Open Enrollment beginning November 15th, it is time, more so now than ever, to seek out information surrounding the ACA and how it affects you.
What do you think of the latest Health Tracking Poll findings? Leave a comment or question below.
Read the full Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll here.