If You Don’t Like Your Coverage, You Can Upgrade It

Andrew Sullivan —  Mar 25 2014 @ 12:17pm

Underinsured

Cohn points to a new report (pdf) by the Commonwealth Fund indicating that Obamacare will help the underinsured:

According to the report, which became public early Tuesday morning, some 32 million non-elderly Americans were in households that spent a “high share of income on medical care” during 2012. That’s a little more than one in ten non-elderly Americans. The majority, though by no means all, are poor or near-poor. …

“The Affordable Care Act will significantly reduce underinsurance since it sets a national floor for benefits, requires that plans cover a minimum level of costs, bans pre-existing condition exclusions as well as lifetime and annual benefit limits, and increases cost-sharing protections for people with low and moderate incomes,” says Sara Collins, who is the Fund’s vice president for Health Care Coverage and Access and a co-author of the paper. “The problem of underinsurance is most pronounced among low and moderate income families and the provisions of the law are well-targeted at significantly improving coverage for people who have in the past spent large shares of their income on health care.”

Meanwhile, Khazan emphasizes that the uninsured are still massively confused about Obamacare:

Perversely, insured people and richer people had more knowledge about the ACA, and about how health insurance works in general, than did the uninsured. Knowledge about both the law and concepts such as premiums and deductibles increased with income. People who would qualify for the Obamacare subsidies were only able to answer an average of four of 11 questions about the law. Women were more ignorant than men were about healthcare reform, even though they arguably stand to benefit more.