Uninsured Not Sure They’ll Comply With Obamacare, Survey Says

A new survey shows widespread confusion about the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires everyone to purchase health insurance by Jan. 1 or pay a penalty, but a new survey indicates that many of the uninsured still aren’t sure about getting coverage.

InsuranceQuotes.com released the survey, which initially included 1,001 adults, 134 of whom were uninsured. They interviewed an additional 152 uninsured adults to get better data.

Among the uninsured, 64 percent said they had not yet decided to purchase insurance, 19 percent planned to acquire coverage by the deadline, and 10 percent planned to simply pay the penalty for not buying it. That penalty starts small, but gets bigger over time, the site says:

In 2014 [the penalty] is the greater of $95 or 1 percent of income for an adult. For children under 18, the penalty is half the adult amount. The penalty increases each year, up to the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of household income for an adult in 2016. And a family would pay a maximum of the greater of $2,085 or 2.5 percent of income then, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Here are some additional findings from the survey:

  • 61 percent of the uninsured said they don’t have health insurance because they can’t afford it.
  • 58 percent aren’t sure if they qualify for tax credits that will lower their insurance costs under Obamacare.
  • 68 percent of those with incomes under $30,000 a year are not sure of their eligibility.
  • 61 percent of Americans believe Obamacare will increase the cost of health care.

Tax credits will be available to households with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, Healthcare.gov says. That is currently $45,960 for an individual or $94,200 for a family of four, Families USA says.

You can estimate the size of your potential tax credit with the Kaiser Family Foundation subsidy calculator.

For an individual making $30,000 a year, Kaiser says minimum coverage would cost about $1,964 per year after a $538 tax credit — working out to a monthly payment of about $165. (Although it’s worth noting that someone with minimum coverage would face higher out-of-pocket costs.)

Stacy Johnson

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  • Sarah

    Just go to the website, search for healthcare exemptions, read the form to ensure you qualify, print it out, attach documentation, then send it in so you aren’t penalized for being too poor to afford insurance. Also, to be clear even IF I could afford the insurance I would have to make at least $56,000/yr AFTER taxes just to pay student loans, housing bills, and vehicle maintenance. The President seems to forget that since he graduated from an ivy league college there has been a Recession through which many jobs have been permanently lost.

    That lost income from years of unemployment/underemployment means that graduates in that time period and after may not be able to pay several high bills, let alone one. This lost income gets larger every year along with the increase in interest students are forced to pay the banks they bailed out. If graduates aren’t earning taxable income after they graduate the country and the economy lose as a whole. We can’t tax people on what they don’t earn. Students are defaulting on their loan debt due to the influx of foreign workers and illegal immigrants (who demand amnesty). You have displaced generations working jobs that teenagers used to fill so the domino effect means that everyone down the line gets pushed back farther financially and career wise.

    Graduates today have student loans, housing, transportation, communication (internet, phone), maintenance (vehicle repairs), credit card debt, medical debt, and may be working more than two minimum wage part time jobs. This program passage could not have come at a worse time for those who graduated in 2008 or later. When I go in for interviews 9/10 times I’m told I’m overqualified or have no “experience” which means they want to pay me 1/3 or less of what I should be earning. This country is cutting the nose off to spite the face and is trying to call it “plastic surgery”. I’d love to know how many graduates say no thanks due to student loan debt. Banks can sue and garnish your wages but if a graduate is homeless no one bats an eye in this country. What terrible priorities we have to claim that in order to get ahead in society you must be financially behind. Why didn’t the President implement policies that stop this cycle? So many other countries have effective programs in place and this country ignores the future of this country just for the benefit of banks that are “too big to fail”. It shouldn’t be just for students in select fields of study, it’s wrong to punish people for being born middle class and poor.

    Although I’m sure I’ll be called a racist, xenophobe, and lazy for pointing out what’s wrong. I’ve lost two jobs to illegal immigration and a third job to companies outsourcing now to other countries. It’s so frustrating to see your hard work wasted time and again. I know fully understand those who just have kids and live on welfare and now fifteen states pay more on welfare than entry level jobs. This country is so backwards it’s sickening. I’ve been labelled “elitist” for wanting to be a productive member of society and for complaining about policies that hurt the interests and safety of US citizens. Since when should a higher education be considered a bad thing? What’s wrong with skilled trades or vocational training? I suppose when it means you want to work for more than minimum wage in this country and actually do something meaningful with your skills.

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