Survey: perceived cost is biggest barrier to health insurance coverage
Palmetto Bay News (FL)
In a recent online survey, hundreds of uninsured Florida residents were queried to get a better understanding of their awareness of health insurance and to learn why those who are uninsured do not have health insurance.
The survey was conducted by a thirdparty vendor on behalf of Florida Blue between the dates of Oct. 6 and 31 to coincide with the open enrollment period. Open enrollment is the time of year (Nov. 1 -Jan 15) when the federal government re-opens enrollment to the health insurance Marketplace (sometimes called Obamacare), allowing people who could not take advantage of the open enrollment period previously, to secure health insurance.
All of the respondents in the survey were between ages 21 and 64 and more than half had been uninsured for three or more years or had never had health insurance.
THE RESULTS According to the survey results, cost remains the biggest factor for not having health insurance.
Additional findings from the survey included: · The main reason people gave for not having health insurance was perceived cost. Almost 70 percent of the people surveyed believed they can't afford health insurance, or it is simply too expensive. · Sixty five percent of those surveyed believe it would cost $50-$500 per month for insurance while only 11 percent thought they could pay $10 or less. In actuality, four out of five people enrolled in the Marketplace are able find a plan for $10 or less per month after financial assistance. In fact, more than nine out of 10 people enrolled in Marketplace plans get financial assistance. · The uninsured are avoiding the doctor unless they are sick because they believe it costs too much money to visit a doctor.
· Seventy three percent did NOT know that most health insurance plans cover preventive care, such as regular checkups, mammograms, colonoscopies and vaccinations at $0 out-of-pocket cost.
"At Florida Blue, we are dedicated to providing our communities with access to affordable, high-quality health care solutions," said David Wagner, Florida Blue market president for South Florida. "We realize that people are busy, tired, and everything costs more, but we are here to help them during these challenging times and make it easier than ever to switch plans or sign up for plans, especially during the open enrollment period that closes on Jan. 15."
Financial assistance for health insurance (also called a subsidy) isn't just for U.S. citizens. Many lawfully present immigrants qualify for help paying for insurance through the Marketplace, including green card holders and those with work or student visas.
And receiving financial help will not negatively impact one's immigration status and process due to the public charge regulations, which were eliminated in March 2021.
While finding the right health plan can be a challenge, there are thousands of licensed health insurance agents and navigators across the state who will charge nothing for their expert guidance. Agents and navigators can help determine which health insurance plan is right for them and their family, help enroll them in a plan and help them apply for financial help.
For additional information, contact a local Florida Blue agent, visit a Florida Blue Center or visit www.floridablue.com.