The California Benefit Exchange (Covered California) recently shared the results of an extensive research survey as to the interests of interviewed Californians. The following is a report of those findings (found on the California Health Benefit Exchange news site). We must remember that by January, 2014 most every individual will be required to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Key findings from a statewide qualitative research study suggest that a vast majority of those interviewed are interested in purchasing health insurance through Covered California’s online marketplace set to open in October 2013. The research consisted of in-depth, in-person, one-on-one interviews with 412 Californians across the state in 12 different languages. The 30-minute interviews were conducted among a diverse roster of insured and uninsured Californians from October 12 through November 13, 2012. The research is needed to better understand Californians’ levels of awareness, perceptions, and attitudes towards health care insurance reforms coming to California in 2013. Findings will support a more effective marketing and outreach campaign that will begin next year. “This initial research demonstrates that Californians are curious and positive about Covered California and the marketplace,” said Peter V. Lee, Executive Director of Covered California. “This type of focused, but diverse research is helpful in identifying priority areas for education and outreach, and will help us measure ongoing effectiveness of our marketing efforts.” Californians interviewed cited their most significant reasons for their interest in purchasing a plan though Covered California’ marketplace is to “save money,” “gain health care access,” and “peace of mind.” Those expressing less of a desire to purchase insurance through Covered California cited potential costs and lack of need.
The study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, is available here: http://www.healthexchange.ca.gov/BoardMeetings/Documents/December%2018%202012/CHBE_Presentation-MarketStudyFocusGroupFindings_12-18-12.pdf. “California’s diverse population necessitates we talk to as many people in as many languages as possible to understand what Californians think about health care reforms,” said Larry L. Bye, a senior fellow in the Public Health Research Department at NORC. “When Covered California opens its doors to enrollment in October 2013, it will do so with a thorough understanding of its potential customers.”
About Covered California California was the first state to create a health benefit exchange following the passage of federal health care reform. It is charged with creating a new insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health plans using federal tax subsidies and credits beginning in 2014. Covered California is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and Legislature; the California Health and Human Services Secretary serves as an ex officio voting member and is its current Chair. For more information on Covered California, please visit www.healthexchange.ca.gov .