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SOURCE Texas Association of Health Underwriters
AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With open enrollment in the health coverage plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) set to begin on Oct. 1, a series of surveys from respected organizations reinforce consumer confusion that exists about health insurance and the new law.
A September 2013 study in the Journal of Health Economics suggests that most Americans lack even a basic understanding of health insurance. The study finds that only 14 percent of those surveyed could define essential elements of a health insurance plan. In a second survey, conducted by Gallup in June 2013, 43 percent of consumers surveyed were unaware they must have health insurance coverage under the new health law.
Mark Bellman, president of the Texas Association of Health Underwriters, expressed concern that many consumers will be making major decisions that will affect their future and financial viability without the insight needed to make informed choices. "Health insurance is a complex and sometimes overwhelming topic. Many will face coverage options for the first time without fully understanding and weighing the impact of their decisions. If someone is not sure about the best choice for themselves, their families or businesses, they should seek the advice of a professional."
An August 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation study reported that 51 percent of consumers say they do not have enough information about the ACA to understand how it will impact them and their families, a percentage that has remained consistent since 2010. The proportion of people who feel they do not have enough information remains particularly high among Hispanics, the uninsured, young adults and those with lower incomes.
The Kaiser Foundation poll also found that a large percentage of the population remains confused about the law's status, with 44 percent either thinking the law has been repealed (8 percent), overturned by the Supreme Court (5 percent), or unsure whether it remains the law or not (31 percent).
Highlighting the basic questions about the new law, the Texas Association of Health Underwriters has compiled five of the top questions being asked by consumers and employers.
"We hope this list will provide a starting point for a conversation about the best type of coverage for families and employers," said Bellman.
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