Poll: 75% of Calif. Voters Know Little or Nothing About Exchange
Three-quarters of California voters under age 65 have little or no knowledge about the state's new health insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act, according to a Field Poll released Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The findings come less than two months before the exchange is set to open for enrollment on Oct. 1.
The poll is the third health care-related Field Poll to be released this week. A poll released on Monday examined whether California voters' health care costs had increased in the previous year. A separate poll released Tuesday examined voters' support for the ACA (Siders, Sacramento Bee, 8/21).
Background on Exchange
The exchange -- named Covered California -- primarily will serve individuals and small businesses.
Supporters hope that the exchange will function similarly to websites like Amazon and Expedia so that users will be able to choose among various health plans through an easily navigable online store (California Healthline, 8/12).
Findings of New Poll
According to the poll:
- 25% of California voters under age 65 reported hearing some or a lot of information about the exchange;
- About 33% reported hearing a small amount of information about the exchange; and
- 42% reported hearing no information at all about the exchange.
In addition, the poll found that less than half of voters who will qualify for federal assistance for exchange policies were aware of their eligibility.
Meanwhile, 83% of uninsured California voters under age 65 said they were interested in learning more about the exchange. In addition, 65% of all respondents said they were at least somewhat interested in learning more about the exchange, according to the poll.
While the majority of respondents said they think the ACA will expand health coverage for low- and moderate-income residents, 59% said that they believe the state will not have enough primary care physicians to handle the increase in demand for health care services.
Larry Hicks -- a spokesperson for Covered California -- said a "full-scale effort" to promote the exchanges will begin in early September.
Mark DiCamillo -- director of the poll -- said it is "good news" that voters were receptive to learning about the exchange. However, he added that the Covered California "outreach campaign has a huge undertaking before it" (Sacramento Bee, 8/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.