Younger Americans least familiar with Obamacare, poll shows
HIALEAH, FL - NOVEMBER 14: Insurance agents with Sunshine Life and Health Advisors work with a customer as she looks to purchase an insurance policy under the Affordable Care Act (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
December 2nd, 2013
08:43 PM ET
8 months ago

Younger Americans least familiar with Obamacare, poll shows

(CNN) – Americans 18 to 29 are the least familiar with the Affordable Care Act, a new Gallup poll has found.

The latest numbers come just as the enrollment site, HealthCare.gov, saw a surge in visitors on Monday following a two-month scramble to fix it after a disastrous October launch.

The success of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, depends on younger, healthier consumers to sign up for coverage.

Their premiums, according to proponents of the law, will help offset the costs of providing care to older people, who pay premiums as well but also use the health care system more.

Gallup found that 63% of those 18-29 respondents say they are "very familiar "or "somewhat familiar" with the law, while 37% say they are "not too familiar" or "not familiar at all."

The age group that reports the most familiarity with Obamacare is the 50-64 age range, with 77% of those respondents describing their knowledge of the law as "very familiar" or "somewhat familiar."

According to earlier Gallup polls, overall knowledge of Obamacare stayed much the same from late summer through November.

In mid-August, Gallup found that 68% of Americans surveyed were familiar with the law. That rose just slightly, to 72%, in late November.

Income also comes into play when it comes to familiarity with the law. Gallup found that 29% of Americans who make less than $90,000 a year are not familiar with Obamacare, compared with only 10% of those who make more than $90,000.

Gallup's latest polling also took into consideration how Americans feel about the new law.

According to Gallup, respondents who self-identify as Republican are more critical and more familiar with the law than Democrats who were surveyed.

Overall, Gallup found that 54% of American adults disapprove of the law, up from 49% in late August.

The Gallup poll was conducted Nov. 23-24, 2013, with 1,034 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

– CNN's Cassie Spodak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • Obamacare
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Logictox

    They put this president in office because of media hype. They didn't do any research and don't have a clue what they did to themselves.

    December 2, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Does this matter? Is this news? Fools.

    December 2, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  3. Richard Long

    Why should young people have to know about Obamacare. There parents can cover them until they are 26... Wait... Don't they need the young to sign up and get hit with the higher rates to support everyone else's subsities?

    December 2, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. Catmandew

    1 question if the younger folks that sign up are supposed to make up for the older unhealthy folks then how will they get their premium rebates back when their premiums aren't spent on them? Because their premiums will be subsidizing those other folks and the insurance is supposed to give back a percentage of what they don't spend on the person buying the plan.

    December 2, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    It's a shame that the governor of Mississippi shut down the 1 Mississippi insurance site and refuses to accept the Medicaid money. Why hurt the uninsured?

    December 2, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    Not that I trust this poll, but even so, younger Americans will not vote for the T-Publicans "NO PLAN AT ALL WILL SOMEHOW BENEFIT YOU." Either they present something worthwhile to the American people or they STHU because just screaming this website isn't working; people are losing their plans; and the president lied doesn't help you if you are 1) facing a serious illness 2) unable to get health insurance without your parents or 3) unexpected accidents. May I suggest, for once, they quit screaming and start actually working?

    December 2, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  7. ED1

    And they are the ones that will pay the most so much for the smart group of people we have they will take over one day.

    They might put down the Kool Aid and vote with facts not because the person can lie and speak well.

    December 2, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    Here, let me help out these youngsters with some info from the UnitedHealthCare website regarding student health insurance (FAQ page):

    Q. I'm young and healthy. Why do I need health insurance?
    A. Despite your age and health, you never know when a serious injury or illness will strike. You're not invincible. And if you don't have insurance, who'll pay your bills? Do you have the money to pay $1,500 to fix a broken leg or $3,000 to stay in the hospital? Insurance gives you the peace of mind that, yes, most of your medical bills will be covered in case something happens.

    BTW, if insurance companies are encouraging young, healthy people to buy health insurance, why isn't the GOP?

    Does the GOP want young people to suffer financial hardship? Isn't the GOP encouraging irresponsibility by telling people to not buy insurance?

    Why is the GOP so actively working AGAINST people's self-interest?

    *crickets*

    December 3, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    More info for the kiddos from the UnitedHealthcare website FAQ:

    Q. If I get sick but don't have the money to pay, won't doctors and hospitals treat me?
    A. Yes, most doctors and hospitals will treat you, but they will aggressively pursue collection of your unpaid medical bills by turning your account over to a collection agency. Yes, some hospitals write off a certain amount of care each year, called "indigent care," but if you or your family fail to meet strict requirements, they'll come after you to pay.

    Somebody will pay - either you as a paying patient in the form of higher medical bills, or taxpayers.

    Just something to chew on in between texts ...

    December 3, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  10. @RI_Roger

    The very age group we need to sign up to fund the program are uneducated on what they are signing up for. The group that will use and abuse the system are signing up in droves with the premise it is free or significantly funded by the government. What will they do in year 2 when the credits go away do to no funding available from the younger age groups?

    Gullible Americans get duped again by elected "leaders" and irresponsible journalist who choose not to tell the real story until it's too late.

    December 3, 2013 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  11. A True Conservative

    But if the younger people don't know about the law they may not sign up.....and the whole Ponzi scheme is predicated on them getting soaked with higher premiums in order to offset the lower premiums for older citizens. Then again, they could just stay on their parents insurance until...oh....I don't know....they retire....

    December 3, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  12. jpmichigan

    So true a majority of young adults up to age 26 aren't concerned with healthcare, if they continue to be covered by their parents. Married, on their husbands and emancipated adults on Medicaid. Didn't any one ever figure this factor. There will be more without insurance once businesses (large and small) look at the actual cost, most will put the change in prices on the employee. Americans who have lost their healthcare that they wanted and could afford are hurt the most. Hurt by mandates placed on insurance companies that many Americans don't need, but have to pay for so that the minority of Americans have better coverage and with Medicaid free. ACA had good and bad parts. Declared a TAX by the Supreme court but only those who pay the flat $95 , is taxed. Our freedom of choice that makes this country great and different from others, has been taken away by the court and this administration.

    December 3, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  13. Tampa Tim

    It is elected republicans that are clueless about the ACA. They have been lying for 3 years.

    December 3, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |