By NASE, Special for USDR.
Over a month after the launch of the new health care system, a majority of small and micro-business owners trying to enroll believe they will be unable to secure affordable health care coverage in the new year according to a new survey by The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), the nation’s leading advocate and resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses.
The NASE membership survey released today was conducted online from November 7th – 20th and is comprised of 498 small and micro-business owners from across the country. The survey found that nearly 60% of respondents believe there is a “low” or “very low” chance they’ll be able to secure both affordable and comprehensive coverage in 2014.
“The truth is that the self-employed – who fall into the individual marketplace – are finding it increasingly difficult to not only navigate healthcare.gov, they do not believe they will be able to access affordable health care in 2014,” said Katie Vlietstra, Director of Government Affairs for NASE. “This frustration is pushing many to look for alternative options for health care and our fear is that this number will grow.”
Additional highlights of the NASE membership survey released today includes:
- Of the half of the respondents who visited HealthCare.gov, over 60% of them experienced technical issues and/or glitches with the website (Question 2 on the survey is of the 248 respondents who answered yes they have visited HeatlhCare.gov since October 1, 2013 – question 1).
- Over 30% of those who visited HealthCare.gov have now decided to explore options outside of the Exchange.
- Nearly 9% of those able to visit the site reported they had successfully enrolled in a health insurance plan for 2014.
- Almost 17% of respondents indicated that they’d be forgoing health insurance in 2014 due to costs.
Last week, the NASE strongly opposed the President’s new health care proposal to re-instate cancelled health care policies calling it “bad policy and short-sighted.” Instead, the NASE proposed extending the open enrollment period for the entire 2014 calendar year and delaying the individual mandate penalty, which would allow adequate time for small businesses and American’s nationwide to become better informed about the options available and costs associated with the new health care plans. Delaying the individual mandate penalty will put individual American’s – including the self-employed – on a level playing field with the rest of the business community, who have already won a reprieve from the Administration for one-year.
“I have found the new health care system incredibly confusing and fraught with misinformation,” says Marla Duran, NASE member and owner of Marla Designs based in Pennsylvania. “From increasing health care premiums to cancellation letters, small business owners need more time to explore our options with this new program.”