After 3 Years, Many Are Still Confused About Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

iStock_000018251736_ExtraSmall According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 37% of Americans surveyed have a positive opinion about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Forty percent do not. A significantly higher proportion of Americans (57%) are unsure of their rights to health care benefits in provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Even worse, nearly 70% of people in two of the groups the ACA was designed to help the most, the poor (household income less than $40,000) and the uninsured, know the least about the law. (1)
iStock_000008112453_ExtraSmallIndividual Mandate and Guaranteed Issue

Although just over three-quarters of Americans surveyed were aware of the more familiar individual mandate portion of the law, nearly half were either unaware or did not know about the guaranteed issue provision that requires insurers to issue health insurance coverage regardless of the health status of the purchaser. (1)

Medicaid Expansion
Most people (nearly 80%) also knew very little about plans for Medicaid expansion in their state, although most would approve of moving forward with Medicaid expansion. However, beliefs about Medicaid expansion are divided by party with most Democrats supporting Medicaid expansion and most Republicans in favor of not making changes to the current Medicaid program. (1)

Health Care Exchanges/Marketplaces
Nearly half of those surveyed were familiar with their state’s plans for participation in health care exchanges or health care marketplaces. Despite this, most were in agreement with the idea of having health care exchanges or marketplaces. (1)


Video Credit: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services/Department of Health and Human Services. (2)

Additional Provisions…….
iStock_000001118447_ExtraSmall Other popular provisions of the law among survey participants included eliminating the Medicare Part “D” doughnut hole, allowing small businesses to have tax credits for the purchase of medical insurance, broadening coverage for dependents, and allowing access to health care subsidies. (1)

Health Care Reform Education May Not Be Accessible to All
The Department of Health and Human Services website entitled, “The Affordable Care Act and Your Community,” has a number of educational resources, including links to brochures, online videos, webinars, and links to other websites with informational health program materials. Community leaders and faith-based organization leaders can access materials at another link called, “How to Access Health Care Services in Your Community.” (3, 4) The problem is that this communication is mostly web-based, as well. As a result, is the health reform message being communicated to the poorest of the poor who do not have access to computers and do not regularly frequent places where health reform law information is available? There is no way to know, for sure.

Question for the Blog Community: Just how much do you know about how the ACA will benefit you (or not)? Take the Health Reform Quiz, here, to find out! (4)

Also, learn more about hot topics concerning the ACA at the Kaiser Family Foundation “Video Roundtable: The ACA at Three.” (5)

All Image Credits: istockphoto.com

References:
1. “Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Public Opinion on Health Care Issues.” Kaiser Family Foundation. Public Opinion and Survey Research Publications. Publication Number 8425. March 20, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
2. “What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?” YouTube. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services/Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
3. “The Affordable Care Act and Your Community.” Department of Health and Human Services Website. The Affordable Care Act and Your Community. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
4. “How to Access Health Care Services in Your Community.” Department of Health and Human Services Website. How to Access Health Care Services in Your Community. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
5. “Health Reform Quiz.” Kaiser Family Foundation. Website. January 14, 2013. http://healthreform.kff.org/quizzes/health-reform-quiz.aspx. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
6. “Video Roundtable: The ACA at Three.” Kaiser Family Foundation. YouTube. March 21, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2013.

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