Just five months before health insurance exchanges begin open enrollment, 42 percent of the public does not know the Affordable Care Act is still law of the land and is being implemented, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
Among those ignorant that the ACA is in place, 12 percent thought Congress repealed the law, 7 percent thought the Supreme Court struck it down and 23 percent didn't know whether the ACA remains law.
Moreover, only about one in 10 Americans report getting information about the reform law from federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, according to the poll.
The Kaiser poll points out that most federal and state government public-information campaigns have yet to start. The poll suggests they now have an extremely difficult and hurried task to make consumers aware of the benefits of exchanges before the online market places are up and running Oct. 1.
The Obama administration has pledged to launch an aggressive PR campaign this summer, The Hill's Healthwatch reported. But in addition to encouraging consumers to enroll in the exchanges, it seems the feds also must remind them the reform law is still in effect, Healthwatch noted.
To help educate lawmakers, states and the public, the administration has introduced the Healthcare.gov website, set up a new 24-hour call center, and is conducting outreach in states as they develop their own exchanges, Michael Hash, director of the Office of Health Reform at HHS, said at an Alliance for Health Reform event on Friday in Washington, D.C.
Other recent survey findings indicate the feds and states are still too slow to educate the public about the exchanges, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. In fact, 90 percent of consumers don't know when open enrollment in exchanges begins, and only 10 percent said they're "very knowledgeable" about the reform law.