Health Insurance Marketplace Goes Live Oct. 1, But Most Don’t Have A Clue What That Means

Unless you’ve had wool stuffed in your ears you might’ve heard the words “Affordable Care Act” bandied about for a while now. And starting Oct. 1, open-enrollment season officially begins for people to purchase insurance coverage. But what does that even mean? If you don’t know, you’re not alone: According to a new poll, 51% of Americans say they don’t understand how that will affect them or their families.

The tracking poll from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that among the uninsured β€” the actual people who will need to have health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014 or pay a fine β€” that proportion was even higher, reports the Associated Press. About 62% of the uninsured say there’s not enough information for them about the health care law, or about the new insurance marketplaces and subsidies that are being set up to help people buy coverage.

Another four in 10 Americans aren’t even sure that the 2010 law is still in place. All of this is a bit of a challenge for the Obama administration with the clock counting down to Oct. 1. A campaign to inform the public about the law is currently underway, and the poll shows that some respondents have noticed, about 12% said they’d been contacted by someone about the law.

If you’re one of those confused masses yearning to be free of doubt, the power of the Internet is at your command. You can start by checking out the official site, Healthcare.gov, which has FAQ on everything from what kinds of preventative care is provided at no cost under the law, as well as a tool to walk individuals or business owners through the steps of determining what kind of insurance they’ll need, or if they’ll need to purchase it at all.

You can also get the most basic answer to “What is the health insurance marketplace?” on the site, so you won’t have to be part of that confused 51%.

Consumers Remain Baffled By Health Law, Poll Shows [Associated Press]