Nine in 10 Uninsured Don't Know When Open Enrollment Begins

Congressional candidates may be still be talking about the Affordable Care Act, but a majority of the uninsured are still unaware of main components of the law, according to a poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Congressional candidates may still be talking about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but a majority of the uninsured are still unaware of main components of the law, according to a poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

Only 11% of respondents in the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll who were uninsured between the ages of 18 and 64 were able to name November 2014 as the start of the next open enrollment period. Seventy-five percent said they didn’t know when, 3% suggested some time in 2014 other than November, and 10% responded 2015 or later.

More than half are still unaware of financial assistance available to help low- and moderate-income individuals purchase insurance. However, 59% say they will get covered in the next few months. Among those who expect to stay uninsured, perceptions of cost remain the largest barrier.

People living in states with competitive Senate races are far more likely to see ads about the ACA or health insurance than consumers in states with a non-competitive or no race. Anti-ACA ads take a slight majority in competitive states, with 36% of respondents saying they saw more ads opposed to the healthcare law and 32% seeing about equal numbers of ads in support of/opposed to the ACA.

Overall, 25% of voters report seeing more ads opposed to the law compared with just 6% who saw more ads in support of it. Despite the advertisements, views of the ACA are similar to a year ago, KFF found, and remains starkly divided along partisan lines.

Democrats (80%) and Independents (65%) would much rather see their Congressperson work to improve the law. However, 65% of Republicans would still rather see it repealed and replaced.

Despite this, the country is mostly tired of hearing about the ACA. More than half (56%) would prefer candidates move on to another topic of discussion. Among registered voters, just 8% view healthcare as the most important issue, behind the economy (16%), dissatisfaction with the government (12%), education (10%), and the situation in Iraq and Syria (9%).