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Perceived High Cost is Biggest Deterrent to Uninsured Gaining Coverage

Analysis  |  By Jay Asser  
   January 12, 2023

A recent survey of uninsured individuals finds that health insurance is considered too expensive or unaffordable for most.

The main reason many people don't have health insurance is the perceived high cost, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Florida Blue.

Hundreds of uninsured Florida residents aged 21 to 64—with more than half uninsured for three or more years or having never had health insurance—were polled online between October 6 and October 31, 2022, to better understand why they have no coverage.

The results revealed that the perceived high cost of insurance is the biggest barrier to the uninsured, with almost 70% of respondents saying they can't afford health insurance or feel it is too expensive.

Sixty five percent of respondents believed it would cost $50 to $500 per month for insurance, while 11% thought the cost could be $10 or less. In reality, however, the study points out that four out of five people with Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plans are able to find coverage for $10 or less per month after financial assistance and over 90% of Marketplace enrollees receive financial assistance.

"At Florida Blue, we are dedicated to providing our communities with access to affordable, high-quality health care solutions," Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of Florida Blue, said in a statement.

"We realize that people are busy, tired, and everything costs more, but we are here to help them during these challenging times and make it easier than ever to switch plans or sign up for plans, especially during the open enrollment period that closes on January 15."

Aside from believing insurance costs are too high, many of the people surveyed did not know what coverage gets them. Almost three in four respondents (73%) were unaware that most health plans cover preventive care, such as regular checkups, mammograms, colonoscopies, and vaccinations with no out-of-pocket costs.

While health insurance awareness can be improved among the uninsured, the national uninsured rate did reach a record-low of 8% in the first quarter of 2022.

The ACA Marketplace saw 11.5 million people enroll in a health plan last year, which marked an 18% increase from 2021, with the Inflation Reduction Act making plans more affordable and accessible.

Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders. 


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Uninsured individuals were polled online for a survey on behalf of Florida Blue to better understand why they have no health coverage.

Almost 70% of respondents said they can't afford insurance or feel it is too expensive, making the perceived high cost the biggest barrier to coverage.

Further, 73% of respondents did not know that most health plans cover preventive care services, such as regular checkups.


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