34% Of Uninsured Choosing To Stay Without Health Coverage, 70% Don’t Know About Subsidies

(Consumerist)

(Consumerist)

We’d like to think that most of you know that March 31 is the deadline to obtain health insurance or face a penalty for lack of coverage, but if you’re one of the millions of uninsured Americans, it’s about a 50/50 chance that you’re actually aware of this deadline. And to about one-third of the country’s uninsured, the deadline doesn’t matter because they are choosing to go without coverage.

This is according to a new survey from the folks at Bankrate.com, which found that, of those opting to face the penalty instead of obtaining coverage, 41% said it was because they believed that insurance is too expensive for them.

However, the survey also found that only 30% of uninsured Americans are even aware of subsidies and tax credits that are available to bring down the cost. That’s virtually the same number (29%) as those who incorrectly believe there are no such credits, and markedly below the 41% of uninsured people who admitted to not knowing about these subsidies.

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Another reason given for choosing to not get coverage was opposition to the Affordable Care Act. This was the answer for about 1-in-6 of those people who said they will not get insurance by the March 31 deadline. That group was dominated by males, who were nearly three times more likely to give this reason than females.

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The 18-29 year-old demographic has been the subject of much of the marketing for the ACA, but the Bankrate survey found what you’d probably expect to find among this age group — a sense of invincibility and a perceived immunity from all things that could make you sick or kill you — with 31% of uninsured young adults saying they simply don’t need insurance because they are healthy.

Just remember that thought when a piano or anvil falls on top of you from a comical height.

Whatever you decide to do, and whatever your reasons are, just know that the deadline is March 31. That way, you’re truly making a decision to obtain or not obtain coverage, rather than simply letting the deadline pass because you weren’t aware of it.

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  1. furiousd says:

    As a healthy 28-year-old single male, I don’t need insurance that includes anything above catastrophe. When I get married, I plan to get better insurance. When I have children, I plan to get even better insurance. For my entire life, in fact, my family has never bought into anything but catastrophe (the original intent of insurance, to insure against the unexpected, not as a catch-all payment scheme) and whenever we went to the doctor and indicated ‘self-pay’ the prices charges went down significantly and we paid out of pocket.

    • theocraticjello says:

      Yeah, I thought that way too.
      Then I ended up with Graves Disease, and $30,000 out of pocket in one year alone. Nobody in my family has a history of this. I couldn’t find any doctor to do self pay options, and certainly nobody does “self pay” options when you need invasive procedures done.

      Your comment is so out of touch.

      • SingleMaltGeek says:

        Nobody needs insurance until they do. Then it’s too late, because the whole point is to pay into the system when you don’t need it, so the funds are available to pay for expensive care/repair/etc. when you do need it.

        • CommonC3nts says:

          Eventually we will go to a payroll healthcare tax/government ran system like in Canada and the UK so everyone will have insurance and no one will ever have to worry or go into debt from medical issues ever again.

          The whole idea that you go into debt and lose your house and cars for being sick is just wrong.

  2. oomingmak says:

    I get insurance through my employer now so I admit I haven’t been following the details of the ACA too closely but when I was younger I always opted for a low-cost catastrophic insurance policy as well with a reasonable (~$10,000) annual total-out-of-pocket cap.

    Does this type of catastrophic insurance count as “having insurance” as far as the March 31 deadline is concerned?

  3. CommonC3nts says:

    The problem with ACA is it forces people to buy insurance before it forces employers to pay for 70% of it.
    How do they expect people to pay for it if their employer can still refuse to pay for it??
    The employer mandate was supposed to start this year and they delayed, but yet they did not delay the requirement for people to have insurance.
    2015 = employers 100 or more have to pay for insurance
    2016 = employers of 50 to 99 have to pay for insurance
    I just dont get these delays.

    No one should be forced to buy insurance until employers have to pay for it.

    • MathManv2point0 says:

      Not sure I follow the logic on should not be forced until employers have to pay for it. What about those who are self-employed or unemployed? As it is, ACA mandates that employees pay (at minimum) 50% of the medical premium. What that means is that when you as an employee see the $ amount for renewal this year, remember, that’s half or less than half of what your company is paying. These increased costs (20% for my company) are hurting employees and employers.

      • MathManv2point0 says:

        ” employees pay (at minimum) 50% of the medical premium” should be “employers”. My Bad. Brain fart.