Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Survey Finds Support for Health Exchanges, Medicaid Expansion, but More Education Needed

Just 4 of 10 people are aware of the new health insurance exchanges opening for enrollment today under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or the financial assistance that is available to help with purchasing an insurance plan through the exchanges, according to a new survey by the Commonwealth Fund. But the survey, which was conducted from July to September, also found that once people are made aware of the exchanges (sometimes referred to as marketplaces), 61 percent of those who are potentially eligible said they are very likely or somewhat likely to shop for coverage.

It also found support for expanding Medicaid in all states. While 85 percent of adults surveyed do not know what their state has decided regarding the Medicaid expansion that's part of the ACA, among those who do know their state's decision, 68% are in favor of expanding Medicaid.

"The strong support for expanding Medicaid is consistent with past studies showing that Americans generally like the individual components of the Affordable Care Act when they understand them," said Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., in a statement. "This study also shows that there is a great deal of work to be done to ensure that Americans have a clear, accurate view of the law and what it offers the American people."

For more on this subject, including coverage of mental illness treatment under the new ACA-based plans, see the Psychiatric News article, “Government Seeks Uninsured to Sign Up for Health Exchanges.”

(Image: Keith Bell/shutterstock.com)


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