INDIANAPOLIS – With a little more than two months to go in the open-enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), community organizers say the biggest obstacle for consumers is not the Healthcare.gov website but a lack of awareness about financial assistance.
Erin Knott, Michigan director, Enroll America, said many Hoosiers are well aware that “Care” is available under the ACA, but the “Affordable” part takes some convincing.
“We have our work cut out for us to make sure that we are continuing to outreach and talk to consumers about financial assistance that will be available, that we’re directing them to in-person assisters across the state, that we make them aware of financial calculators that exist,” Knott said.
In a recent Enroll America survey, eight out of 10 uninsured respondents did not believe they could afford health insurance. It is estimated that 60 percent of those currently uninsured will qualify for financial assistance under the Affordable Care Act.
Knott said she hopes consumers will tune out the rhetoric that has surrounded health care reform and focus on making an informed decision, particularly those who may be sorting through this complex information for the first time.
“Insurance is complicated, I mean the difference between a deductible and a premium and an out-of-pocket expense. We’re making sure that people have facts and that they know where to go for more hands-on kinds of help,” she said.
Open enrollment for plans offered under the Affordable Care Act runs through March 31. Hoosiers can find more information about enrollment forums and community assisters, as well as financial calculators for different plans, at www.GetCoveredAmerica.org.