Medical Collections: Report Indicates That Uninsured Still Unaware of Open Enrollment

October 22nd, 2014

In medical collections, TAG has a saying: "two equally informed people rarely disagree." When it comes to the landscape for medical facilities in the coming months, however, it is a lack of information that stands to present a significant challenge.

Open-enrollment, as part of the Affordable Care Act, will begin in November 2014. That is an important landmark for those who are still uninsured, yet a recent poll shows that people are unaware of open-enrollment. The study was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and ACA International passes along the following information about the results.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nine in 10 (89 percent) of the uninsured are unaware that open-enrollment begins in November, including 76 percent who say they do not know when open enrollment begins and another 13 percent who named a start date other than November 2014.

In addition, two-thirds of the uninsured said they know “only a little” or “nothing at all” about the marketplaces where people who don’t get coverage through their employers can shop for insurance, and just over half (53 percent) of the uninsured are unaware of the financial assistance available to help low- and moderate-income individuals purchase insurance.

The perception and understanding of the Affordable Care Act continues to be a crucial issue for medical centers and facilities. Financial challenges and healthcare reform ranked among the top concerns for medical providers earlier this year, and that likely continues to be the case, if not more so, as 2014 winds down. That stands to impact medical collections, but more importantly, it will impact the operations of facilities more generally.

None of that is to even mention the misunderstandings and stress that might come for patients as they navigate these challenges. That needs to be addressed through better information-gathering, and hopefully that starts with better awareness among the uninsured as Open-enrollment arrives.

Link: Uninsured Remain Unaware of Affordable Care Act as Open Enrollment Approaches (ACA International)