Amidst exchange glitches and loss of current plans, Americans increasingly concerned about fines for uninsured
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using nationwide surveys from July and October of this year, HealthPocket has observed increasing public support for the postponement of the Affordable Care Act's fine on the uninsured. The July survey found 41% of survey respondents preferred that the uninsured fine for 2014 be waived for consumers in 2014 as it already had been waived for businesses. A separate survey in October found that support for a one-year delay of the fine reached 51% of respondents.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the fine for being uninsured in 2014 is the greater of 1% of adjusted annual income or $95 (with a family maximum of $285). By 2016, the fine will reach the greater of 2.5% of adjusted annual income or $695, (with a family maximum of $2,085). Of those polled in October, 21% wanted the fine to remain at the 2014 level of 1% of adjusted annual income and not rise to the higher levels that will be in effect by 2016.
HealthPocket also observed an increase in the percentage of people supporting the 2014 enactment of the uninsured fine. In the July survey, 12% of people supported the uninsured fine commencing in 2014. These supporters more than doubled to 28% of survey respondents by October. In both surveys, supporters of the uninsured fine were substantially outnumbered by those who would delay the fine in 2014.
"We suspect that the well-publicized technical problems encountered by the federal exchange account for the difference in public opinion we observed from July to October," said Bruce Telkamp, CEO of HealthPocket, "What is unclear is whether Americans will have a more favorable view of uninsured penalty after the federal exchange is operational.."
HealthPocket.com is a free website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans available to an individual, family, or small business to allow consumers to make their best health plan decision and reduce their out of pocket costs. HealthPocket uses only objective data from government, non-profit, and private sources that carry no conditions that might restrict the site from serving as an unbiased resource. The founders of HealthPocket.com spent decades pioneering internet-based access to health insurance information and created HealthPocket to offer an online resource to positively change how people buy and use healthcare in the U.S. Learn more at www.HealthPocket.com.
For further information, please contact Emily Cashel with Shirley & Banister Public Affairs at (703) 739-5920, (800) 536-5920 or firstname.lastname@example.org.