New study highlights the lingering confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act and its provisions
As the open enrollment period for insurance exchanges in the U.S. draws closer to its end, many people throughout the country are still confused about what the Affordable Care Act actually is and how it is affecting health insurance. A new study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that many people cannot accurately describe what a deductible is and others do not understand the relationship that premiums play with deductibles. The study highlights other areas of insurance coverage that has consumers confused as well.
Study shows that many people are confused about basic insurance information and terminology
According to the study, some 42% of consumers throughout the U.S. do not know what a deductible is, with 39% of people not understanding the difference between deductibles and premiums. Approximately 62% of people do not know the restrictions pertaining to HMO policies and many people tend to confuse HMO policies with PPO policies. Moreover, many of those surveyed for the study did not understand the changes introduced through the Affordable Care Act.
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Exchanges may be failing to provide consumers with easily understandable information
Health care reform has been a complicated issue in the U.S. The Affordable Care Act was meant to change the insurance landscape, making coverage more accessible to a wider range of people and introducing new regulations on the insurance business. One of the most confusing aspects of the law is the emergence of insurance exchanges. The study suggests that federal exchanges are not effective in providing consumers with easily understandable information regarding the insurance policies they offer. As such, many people find it difficult to navigate these exchanges and make use of them to their fullest extent.
An additional open enrollment period may be needed for this year
The study recommends that open enrollment for exchanges begins again in November of this year. The currently enrollment period ends on March 31, after which consumers will have to find insurance coverage through the private market. The study suggests that if an additional open enrollment period is created for this year, exchanges should take steps to ensure that the information they provide consumers with is clear and concise.