Survey: 1 in 3 uninsured Americans will remain uninsured

Most cite 'too expensive' as reason

One in three uninsured Americans will remain without coverage, saying it is too expensive to buy health insurance, according to a survey published this week on Bankrate.com.

The vast majority of the uninsured surveyed (70 percent) realized that federal tax subsidies are available for many to make health insurance coverage more affordable.

In a telephone survey of uninsured adults drawn from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 Americans, one-third (34 percent) said they intend to continue without health coverage. When asked why, 41 percent said health insurance is too expensive, 17 percent cited opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and 13 percent said they're healthy and don't need coverage.

"I think a lot of people don't understand what's available to them," said Patty Fontneau, CEO at Connect for Health Colorado. "It really is a pretty broad array of people who can take advantage of the lowering of these monthly premiums."
 
Healthcare experts said the penalties for putting off coverage my not be stiff enough for people to pay attention at this point.
 
"Certainly people are only going to do what they have to do when they have to do it -- that's just human nature," said Jeff Helton, an assistant professor of healthcare management at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
 
Despite high-profile help centers, such as the storefront on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver and a massive marketing campaign, the Bankrate survey showed that not even half of uninsured Americans realize the deadline is March 31.
 
Jill Goldstein, a Parker mother, and her 17-year-old son are uninsured, and she said they will have to stay that way for now.
 
"I make too much to qualify for the subsidies," said Goldstein. "And the only plan I can find for us is $330 a month with a $9,000 deductible. What does that do for me?"
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