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For second wave of health reform enrollment, it's all about the subsidies


As "It's the economy, stupid," was to Bill Clinton's bid for the White House, so subsidies are to the Obama administration in its bid to enroll millions more people in its health reform program by the March 31 deadline.

That was the finding of a survey of more than 900 uninsured adults, seven out of 10 of whom said their biggest hurdle to buying health insurance was the concern they can't afford it.

The results released Thursday by PerryUndem, a non-partisan research firm, indicated roughly the same number of people were also unaware that financial assistance might be available to them.

Based on the findings, Enroll America, a nonpartisan  organization focused on educating Americans about the Affordable Care Act,  hired 15 new organizers in Florida, one of 11  states where it's spreading the health reform word.  The new hires boost Enroll's Florida presence by  71 percent.

Organizers are also revamping their message to focus on the healthcare subsidies, and putting a digital calculator at the center of their media campaign.  The tool will use current data to calculate peoples' tax credits and send them to the enrollment web page if they qualify. 

Hispanic and African-American consumers were the least likely to be aware of the tax credits for people earning 100 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, according to the study. Based on the findings, the Enroll campaign will fan out to rural and densely populated areas of the uninsured.

Citing a different poll by Quinnipiac University, the Libre Initiative released a statement Thursday saying that nearly 60 percent of uninsured Americans who have shopped for care rate the experience negatively. The non-profit,grassroots organization with close ties to the Koch family predicted dissatisfaction with the health plan options and botched Healthcare.gov launch would cause people to opt out of the individual healthcare mandate.








Healthcare navigators and some insurance agents in Miami-Dade agree.


“__, said Felipe Pinzon, Vice President of programs at Hispanic Unitiy of Florida, whose organization just received funds to help enroll BrowardCounty’s multifultural working families in health plans.


Flipping through a notebook  of client prospects, Sunshine Health _ __ reeled off  incomes nudging above $11,000 a year, qualifying for tax credits that could   the carrying cost of a monthly health plan premium to almost zero.


 The survey data suggests lack of knowledge about the potential savings is holding many back. More than 8 in 10 uninsured Americans said they would sign up for an affordable health insurance plan if one is available.


he survey,   conducted by  health care research firm PerryUndem
 Enroll America  announced that it has hired 58 new organizers—a 30% increase in field capacity—in its 11 target states as part of a “staffing surge” aimed to let consumers know about  consumers with financial assistance information over the final three months of open enrollment.
“We’re thrilled that after a rocky start, more than 6 million Americans have now enrolled in Marketplace or Medicaid coverage since October 1—but we know our work is far from over,” said Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America. “When consumers learn that financial assistance is available to help them find insurance that fits their needs and budget, they’re eager to enroll. That’s why we’ve increased our field staffing by 30% to help spread the word in communities across the country.”
 . However, 7 in 10 uninsured adults have not yet visited their online marketplace. About half of those who visited experienced glitches, but 92% either went back to try again or plan to in the future. As a result, the website problems in October and November do not seem to have had a significant impact on the uninsured.
Rather, the survey suggests that because attention has focused on the website and not on the tax credits that are available to low and middle income families, most consumers remain unaware of the financial help that may be available to them. 7 out of 10 uninsured Americans say that they haven’t previously purchased insurance because they couldn’t afford it, and about the same number of consumers say they are unaware that they may be eligible for financial assistance. Still, 6 in 10 uninsured Americans already plan to purchase insurance soon, and more than 8 in 10 say they would sign up for a quality health plan if it was affordable. The data suggests that a lack of facts about affordability may be the biggest barrier to enrolling as many uninsured consumers as possible. 
    58 organizers  started work this week in 11 target states. This “staffing surge” brings Enroll America’s total staff to more than 250, and thousands of volunteers.   into previously untouched areas, as well as high-density uninsured population. 
  African-American and Latino consumers – as well as those that lack a college degree or are lower-income – are less likely to be aware of their new options.   the 30% boost in field capacity will help to reach consumers who might not otherwise enroll in coverage.    

 , Enroll America   optimized their digital advertising campaign to guide consumers to the Get Covered Calculator, a consumer-friendly tool that quickly provides individuals and families with realistic cost estimates for new coverage. The Get Covered Calculator uses the most up-to-date data to provide consumers an estimate of what assistance they’re eligible for, and then connects them directly to the appropriate place for them to start the enrollment process.




Anne Filipic.

Midway point of first ACA open enrollment period. After initial startup problems, We did see a dramatic spike in Dec.

Taking stock of where things stand …

Research firm – commissioned study –

One of the uninsured americans understand the value of insurance. They are not deterred y thewebsite problems they heard about. If they could find a quality affordable plan, they would almost all sign up for it.


The problems with the website don’t seem to have damaged the enrollment prospects. The good news is that the Healthcare.gov disaster insured more people have heard of the website. COncusmers weren’t giving up. They were frustrated but weren’t giving up.

There are still many consumers out there eager and willing to enroll.

The biggest obstacle is lack of awareness of financial assistance to help low and moderate income families purchase insurance. Affordability is the biggest reason they haven’t enrolled yet, the survey says.

The media focus on the website obscured the message that financial help is available.

Enroll is going to hammer on that message.

New scripts. New digital campaign featuring a digital calculator. While hiring staff to do more face time with people who aren’t tuned in to the digital conversation.



This is not one of these studies. This study is very clear picture of where uninsured are at this point. Among 910 uninsured 64 …


We wanted to see what effect the technical problems have.

We think the glitches had little to no impact. Almost 68 percent hadn’t even been to the website. 79 percent gave other reasons than the glitches for why they hadn’t gone online.

Those who went to the website, 26 percent, we hve a hunch that they’re really persistent. 92 percent of those who had been or experienced a problem said they were planning to go back in the future. Frustrated, yes. Giving up, no. Yet.


Up to 86 of the uninsured have yet to be impacted in ternms of enrollment barriers. Tech glitches aren’t keeping people from enrollment. Not having health coverage weighs on people. The data show faily clear the biggest barrier is people don’t believe they wil be able to get affordable insurance 69 percent say they can’t afford it. 7 in 10 don’t know the law provides subsidies. “I can’t afford insurance” was the reason over 30 percent didn’t try. If you know from insurance you can’t afford insurance, and you don’t know about the subsidies, you’re not likely to try. People aren’t going online because of that.


81 percent did not realize the deadline is in March.


The survey showed 82 percent aid they would be likely to buy a plan if they could afford it.


If there’s more attention on the subsidies, that will be the biggest driver we  think.

Uninsured people are paying attention. They know about the glitches. They’re just not hearing the information about the subsidies.


volunteers, over 14,000


FLORIDA is one of the 11 targets.

Enroll has been present with community group and church meetings throughout SOut h Florida.


Latin and Hipanic communities –

The data say they lag. Awareness of the mandate – 35 percent said they didn’t know about the mandate. 40 percent of AAs had not.

The majority across all groups had not – 76 percent of Lantinos not.

The feeling they can’t afford it shared by everyone.


Most uninsured don’t have a college degree,


The youn invincibles are not lagging behind. 30 perent have been to the marketplace, the most along with the oldest who have. They lag in saying health insurance is important, but it’s more about financial security. At the end of the day they say they will enroll if they can afford it.



Media Contact: Judy Pino202-578-6424 or Brian Faughnan 571-257-3309


More Than Half of U.S. Uninsured Say using Healthcare.gov is a Negative Experience

Glitchy Spanish-language site leaves Hispanics in the lurch


(Washington, D.C.) - Although the Administration has declared that the Healthcare.gov website is largely functioning, and that people have been shopping for months, the uninsured who are the intended beneficiaries of the campaign are rejecting it. Nearly 60 percent of uninsured Americans who have shopped for care rate the experience negatively. This extremely high number of disappointed customers suggests Americans are simply not finding health care options that meet their needs. In addition, the Spanish-language version of the marketplace, CuidadodeSalud.gov, wasn't fully working until December - more than two months after the English site - and is still troubled by errors. According to Kaiser Health News , the Administration's poorly-executed effort has left those in the Latino population who primarily speak Spanish and are seen as crucial to the success of the health law, unable to sign up on time, but still subject to the tax penalty. Disappointment with the law among Hispanics is reflected in numerous polls, including a recent national survey that found Hispanics disapprove of how President Obama is handling health care by a margin of 57 percent to 41.

Jorge Lima , Policy Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:

"It is unacceptable that the Hispanic community has once again been left behind by this Administration. It is no wonder that Obamacare has been unable to meet its target enrollment numbers. Not only have President Obama and supporters of this law broken their promises to all Americans, but they have left out a key and necessary group to the success of this law by not providing Spanish speakers with the tools needed to enroll, if they choose to. That is why we are seeing consistent discontent and disapproval for the law across the country, and particularly with the Hispanic community."


Learn more about "The Accountability Project" campaign and LIBRE's efforts to keep elected officials accountable for supporting the flawed Obamacare law that is causing families everywhere to lose their current health care plan and lose their full time jobs. They are elected to make the right decisions for the people - let's keep them accountable.

For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Judy Pino, 202-578-6424 or Brian Faughnan,571-257-3309.


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