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From Health Affairs:

ACA Markeplace Enrollees:  Whiter, Older, And Better Informed Than Uninsured Adults

Bethesda, MD--In 2013 the Urban Institute launched the Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS), a nationally representative survey of nonelderly adults, to provide timely information on the Affordable Care Act. Using results from the March 2015 HRMS, a new study, released as a Web First by Health Affairs, found that 5.3 percent of adults ages 18-64 were likely to have Marketplace coverage, compared to 67.6 percent with other private insurance, 17.1 percent with public insurance, and 10.0 percent without insurance. The study found that a larger share of Marketplace enrollees were ages 50-64 than any of the other three insurance groups. Compared to the uninsured and those with public coverage, Marketplace enrollees were more likely to have higher incomes, be white and non-Hispanic, and be US citizens.

Understanding Characteristics Of Likely Marketplace Enrollees And How They Choose Plans

By Fredric Blavin, Michael Karpman, and Stephen Zuckerman

The authors are affiliated with the Urban Institute, in Washington, D.C.

This study, part of the journal’s DataWatch series, was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and will also  appear in the March issue of Health Affairs.

The study data revealed that Marketplace enrollees were significantly more likely to use sources of information other than (or in addition to) a website to learn about and enroll in an insurance plan compared to those who looked for information but remained uninsured. In contrast, those who ultimately remained uninsured were more likely to rely exclusively on online searches for their information (see exhibit below). Finally, the study found that one-third of uninsured adults with family incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level reported they heard "nothing at all" about Marketplace premium and cost-sharing subsidies. "The data presented here suggest that many people who could benefit from subsidized Marketplace coverage are still unaware of its existence, despite extensive media coverage," the authors concluded. "The extent to which the ACA will lead to further Marketplace enrollment depends on how successful targeted outreach efforts are at reaching people who remain uninsured."

©2016 Health Affairs

About Health Affairs

Health Affairs is the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published by Project HOPE, the peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print and online, with frequent Web First studies and health policy briefs published at The full text of each Health Affairs Web First paper is available free of charge to all website visitors for a one-week period following posting, it then switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. Web First papers are supported in part by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund. You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter. Read daily perspectives on Health Affairs Blog. Download our podcasts, including monthly Narrative Matters essays, on iTunes. Tap into Health Affairs content with the iPad app.

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