Two Big Problems for Obamacare: Cost and Confusion
Policy + Politics

Two Big Problems for Obamacare: Cost and Confusion

REUTERS/John Gress

Very few uninsured Americans know the deadline for signing up for health coverage through Obamacare, according to a new study conducted by the Kaiser Health Foundation. 

Related: Obamacare Is Now on Life Support

Nearly two thirds of uninsured people in the Kaiser poll conducted in early December said they don’t know when the deadline is, while 20 percent said the deadline is at the end of the year, 6 percent said the deadline has already passed and 3 percent gave some other incorrect date.

Just 7 percent of the uninsured were aware that Jan. 31 is the open enrollment deadline. 

These findings suggest that outreach efforts by the Obama administration haven’t been effective. Only two in 10 of the uninsured say they have been contacted in the past six months about signing up for coverage.

Uninsured Don't Know Enrollment Deadline

The poll also indicates that cost -- the main reason uninsured people have cited in the past for not obtaining coverage -- remains a problem. The study found that almost half of uninsured Americans have tried to purchase coverage over the past year but ultimately decided against it because it was too expensive.

Related: Obamacare’s Bait and Switch Has Left Consumers Scrambling in 2016

Even though the cost of coverage remains a problem, the majority of the uninsured, 65 percent, are aware that the Affordable Care Act requires them to have coverage or be subject to a penalty. However, about a quarter of the uninsured don’t think that the requirement applies to them personally.

While these new statistics are discouraging for proponents of Obamacare, 2.8 million people have selected plans since the third enrollment period opened on Nov. 1 and one million of them are now new customers.