Patients with pre-existing conditions unsure if they will buy coverage


Patients with pre-existing conditions unsure if they will buy coveragePhoto used with permission from Shuttershock.com

According to an InsuranceQuotes.com report, seven out of 10 Americans with pre-existing conditions remain unsure whether they will purchase health insurance under new Affordable Care Act (ACA) outlines.

Approximately 3,000 adults were surveyed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International regarding their insurance shopping intentions. And although, starting in October, patients with pre-existing conditions will be presented with the opportunity to buy health insurance without paying extra, 68 percent of respondents admitted to still being on the fence about buying in.

Other key findings include:

All information courtesy of InsuranceQuotes. Presentation by PhysBizTech.

"It's really surprising how few people with pre-existing conditions are planning to purchase health insurance, especially since a key goal of the ACA is to provide affordable health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions," said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst, InsuranceQuotes.com, in a news release. "Many observers are worried that healthy Americans won't sign up for health insurance next year. This research suggests that we should also be worried about unhealthy Americans failing to enroll."

To help get patients up to speed, InsuranceQuotes (via writer Allie Johnson) suggests that physicians share the following practices about how to best reconcile healthcare reform with personal finances:

  1. See if you qualify for a health subsidy. Consumers with household income up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level could qualify for premium subsidies. Tax credits will be offered on a sliding scale, so consumers with an income equal to the federal poverty level would pay no more than two percent of their income in premiums, while those who make 400 percent of the federal poverty level would pay a maximum of 9.5 percent of their income in premiums.
  2. Find out how much health plans cost. Most states have not released sample pricing yet for their exchanges. But you can take a look at pricing in states that have released numbers, such as Vermont. In the Vermont exchanges, a platinum-level plan with no subsidy would range from $610 a month for a single person to $1,710 for a family with kids. And a bronze-level plan would cost $365 to $1,028 a month.
  3. Review your previous medical bills. While past medical bills are definitely no guarantee of how much you’ll spend in the future, they can serve as a rough guideline. Your estimated medical costs will be one factor in deciding which of four levels of plans you might want to choose. The platinum plan  has the highest premiums but pays more medical costs. Bronze has the lowest premiums, but pays a lower percentage of your medical bills.
  4. Educate yourself. Basic information about healthcare reform, specific features of the law, and how they affect you can be found at HealthCare.gov. “It’s really a good starting point,” McCarty says.
  5. Don’t worry. Consumers shouldn’t get anxious because they don’t have all the facts yet. They will get more details on Oct. 1, 2013 when the health insurance exchanges open.

Photo used with permission from Shuttershock.com