Some consumers may opt for fines rather than insurance
Princeton Survey Research Associates has released the results of a new survey that suggests many people may be willing to pay fines rather than purchase health insurance coverage in the U.S. According to federal law, all U.S. citizens must have active health insurance policies beginning on January 1, 2014. Those failing to meet this requirement could face fines that could be as much as 1% of a person’s annual income. While the law is meant to institute financial penalties in January 2014, it is unlikely fines will actually be issued until March of 2014.
38% of people would rather pay fines
According to the survey, 38% of adults in the U.S. say they would rather face federal fines rather than purchase health insurance coverage. Some 65% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 said that they would purchase insurance coverage. Those unwilling to purchase coverage may be confused about the Affordable Care Act and how it has changed the insurance landscape. Moreover, confusion concerning insurance exchanges is likely exacerbating the issue.
Many remain unaware of insurance services
Many people remain unaware of insurance exchanges and the services they offer, despite aggressive marketing efforts from state and federal governments. Those that are aware of these exchanges are convinced that they will be paying more for their insurance coverage, even if they have access to subsidies being provided by the federal government.
Young consumers show interest in coverage
Notably, many younger consumers claimed that they would be purchasing insurance coverage, mostly through exchanges. Insurers had been concerned that young and healthy consumers would opt out of purchasing coverage due to the fact that they do not need it. This would have left the insurance market with only older consumers, many of whom have chronic health issues that are considered significant financial liabilities to insurers.