More than half of Americans (55%) still do not know the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE) report. In fact, about one in four Americans (24%) incorrectly think the deadline already passed on January 1, 2014. And 11% wrongly think they have until December 31, 2014 to sign up, a full nine months after the March 31, 2014 deadline.
Many Americans are not taking the deadline to sign up for Obamacare seriously. Sixty-two percent of Americans – more than three in five – think the government will push the deadline back to a later date.
“While the Obama Administration has changed many of the other Affordable Care Act deadlines, Americans should not assume that the March 31st deadline will be moved,” said Bankrate.com insurance analyst Doug Whiteman.
Despite major undertakings to inform young adults about the Affordable Care Act and the upcoming deadline to sign up for health insurance, 18- to 29-year olds are the most confused about the cutoff date and the most likely to think the government will push back the deadline.
“Granted, many people who aren’t paying close attention already have health insurance through work. But it’s especially worrisome that young adults – who are the most likely to be uninsured – are the least informed about the deadline and the most likely to think it will be moved,” said Whiteman. “Obamacare’s success hinges on young, healthy Americans signing up, so if they continue to procrastinate past the deadline, it could cause insurance premiums to increase.”
Also, people who miss the March 31st deadline will have to wait until next year’s open enrollment period if they decide they want health insurance, unless they experience a qualifying event such as marriage in the interim.
- 33% of Americans feel more negative about Obamacare than they did one year ago and only 12% feel more positive about it. This is the largest spread since Bankrate started conducting these monthly surveys in August 2013.
- Thirty-six percent of Americans say their health care spending is higher now than it was 12 months ago and only 7% say it is lower.
- Americans with annual household incomes of $30,000 to $49,999 are the most likely to know the correct Obamacare sign-up deadline.
So far, about 80% of those who have signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act have received a subsidy from the federal government. Bankrate.com has a free calculator that helps consumers determine their eligibility and compare costs:
These results comprise Bankrate.com’s Health Insurance Pulse, a monthly survey that tracks how Americans are feeling about health care and their personal finances. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here: