SAN FRANCISCO, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ninety percent of Americans don't know when the new health insurance exchanges will open, according to a new survey released today by InsuranceQuotes.com.
A major component of the Affordable Care Act, the new health insurance exchanges will be available for online and telephone enrollments beginning on October 1, 2013. They will enable individuals to compare and buy health insurance policies. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2014. The health insurance exchanges are a core tenet of the individual mandate that will require all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a fine. As a result, tens of millions of previously uninsured Americans are expected to gain access to health insurance.
InsuranceQuotes.com found that 40% of Americans expect health care reform to have a major effect on their lives. Thirty-nine percent of Americans are forecasting a minor effect and 19% expect no effect.
While they missed badly on the health insurance exchanges question, Americans were more knowledgeable about other aspects of health care reform. For instance, 73% correctly answered that health plans cannot deny coverage based on preexisting health conditions. And 66% accurately said that health plans must extend coverage to dependent children up to age 26.
Conversely, just under half of Americans know that health plans must limit the total amount of money that patients have to pay out of pocket each year and that health plans cannot place limits on the total dollar value of benefits that patients receive.
In total, 39% of Americans say they are somewhat knowledgeable about the Affordable Care Act. Twenty-eight percent say they are not too knowledgeable, 21% say they are not at all knowledgeable and only 10% say they are very knowledgeable.
"The main takeaway from this research is that a lot of people need to study up on health care reform and what it means to them," said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst, InsuranceQuotes.com. "We found a very inconsistent understanding of the Affordable Care Act, and we fear that many people will miss key deadlines and benefits because they don't adequately understand the new law."
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:
PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,006 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (501) and cell phone (505, including 242 without a landline phone). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from March 7-10, 2013. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
InsuranceQuotes.com provides consumers with a free, easy way to shop for and compare insurance quotes online, and delivers information about auto, home, health and life insurance and other types of insurance.
For more information, visit InsuranceQuotes.com.
InsuranceQuotes.com is part of Bankrate Insurance. Other Bankrate Insurance companies include NetQuote.com and InsureMe.com.
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Public Relations Manager, Bankrate, Inc.