Next for the Affordable Care Act: Filling the Knowledge Gap
By Will Saunders, group president, Government Healthcare Solutions, Xerox
The Supreme Court’s landmark decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact the future of health care in our country, yet a recent survey* of more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Xerox found that some aren’t sure how the law affects them.
People were almost evenly split when asked for their reaction to the Supreme Court decision; 35 percent said they felt the decision was wrong because it infringes on Americans’ basic rights in forcing individuals to purchase insurance, and 32 percent said they felt the decision was right because requiring health insurance will protect all Americans and reduce overall health care costs for individuals and the government. Eighteen percent said they weren’t sure, 11 percent weren’t familiar with the law and 4 percent felt some other way about the decision.
The survey also asked if they were in need of health insurance, would they consider purchasing health insurance through a Health Insurance Exchange (HIX), a key component of the ACA. An exchange will create an “Expedia-like” experience for individuals and small businesses with a state-sponsored Web portal to compare and shop for health plans.
U.S. adults were nearly evenly split on HIXs; 29 percent said they would take advantage of an exchange and 25 percent said they would not. Nearly half (46 percent) weren’t sure. While it’s common for people to be unfamiliar with their benefits until they use them, states are now challenged to quickly fill the knowledge gap around exchanges.
Xerox has three decades of experience working with state-funded health care programs, like Medicaid and CHIP, to locate uninsured consumers, motivate enrollment, provide enrollment support and other activities to enhance public awareness. We know outreach is critical to the success of the exchanges and we provide states with the tools, experience and understanding of the type of consumer the exchanges must connect with.
The Supreme Court ruling requires states have an HIX fully operational for October 2013 enrollments and January 2014 coverage effective dates. Xerox has an ideal solution that can be configured, implemented and fully operational in time to help states beat the deadlines, so they can focus on what really matters – bringing the necessary HIX awareness and education to their citizens to increase access to affordable health care.
With this looming deadline, now is the time to get started. We’re already supporting Florida in its effort to educate and provide all citizens with affordable care.
Will Saunders is group president of Government Healthcare Solutions at Xerox, the national leader in state health care program administration. An ardent and enthusiastic career health care professional, he strongly believes in the power of technology to improve health outcomes.
*This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of Xerox from June 29 to July 3, 2012 among 2,088 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Ken Ericson at Kenneth.Ericson@xerox.com or 410-571-0161.