One-Third of Uninsured Americans Plan to Remain Uninsured

41% say cost is the biggest factor, but 70% don't know about subsidies

Mar 17, 2014, 08:00 ET from

NEW YORK, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One-third of uninsured Americans plan to remain uninsured despite the Affordable Care Act's requirement that they obtain health insurance or pay a fine, according to a new (NYSE: RATE) report. The most common explanation (given by 41% of respondents who plan to stay uninsured) is that health insurance is too expensive. However, a whopping 70% of uninsured Americans do not know about the subsidies that reduce the cost of health insurance.

"This is a staggeringly high percentage," said insurance analyst Doug Whiteman. "The government has spent over half a billion dollars promoting the Affordable Care Act and more than two-thirds of uninsured Americans still don't know about the subsidies. Plus, fewer than half (48%) know that the enrollment deadline is in two weeks."

Seventeen percent of uninsured Americans who will continue to go without health insurance say the reason is that they oppose the Affordable Care Act; 13% say they do not need insurance because they are healthy.

Among 18-29 year-olds, a group essential to Obamacare's success, over 60% say they will sign up for health insurance this year, while 28% say they will stay uninsured. Of the 18-29 year-olds who plan to remain uninsured, 31% say they will do so because they are healthy and do not need health insurance.

Respondents between the ages of 30 and 49 are the most likely to remain uninsured (39% plan to continue going without health insurance). Almost half in that age group who won't get insured (47%) cite cost as the biggest factor.

Additional findings:

  • 54% of uninsured Americans with annual household incomes between $50,000 and $74,999 intend to stay uninsured. In January, members of this group were the most likely to tell that they have been negatively affected by Obamacare.
  • 22% of uninsured males (versus just eight percent of uninsured females) say they will go without health insurance because they oppose the Affordable Care Act.
  • Uninsured Americans who feel more negative about the Affordable Care Act now than they did one year ago outnumber those who feel more positive by more than two to one (28% to 13%).

These results comprise's Health Insurance Pulse, a monthly survey that tracks how Americans are feeling about health care and their personal finances. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:

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PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 3,005 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (1,501) and cell phone (1,504, including 827 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from February 20 through March 9, 2014. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 6.1 percentage points.

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