Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

'Navigators' can help walk people through enrollment process, experts say

WebMD News from HealthDay

Many Don't Understand 'Obamacare,' Survey Finds

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As the deadline looms for Americans to enroll in "Obamacare" this year, a new study finds that many people -- especially the uninsured and those with lower incomes -- know little about the new health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act.

Most significantly, researchers found, Americans show little understanding of the cornerstone of the reform -- the online marketplaces, or "exchanges," that have been set up to help people shop for an insurance plan, and find out if they're eligible for Medicaid or subsidies to help pay for their health insurance.

Overall, half of the 6,000 U.S. adults surveyed did not even know what an exchange was, and among the uninsured, a full 64 percent didn't know. In addition, over 40 percent of survey respondents did not know what an insurance deductible was, including nearly 60 percent of the uninsured.

Experts were concerned by the findings, reported in the March 24 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But they were not shocked.

"No, this doesn't surprise me at all," said Dr. Kavita Patel, a fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution.

Low "health literacy" -- people's understanding of health information and ability to use it -- is a well-known problem, and not limited to health care reform, noted Patel, who was not involved in the study.

To be fair, the new report is based on a survey done in August and September of last year -- before the state and federal exchanges were up and running, and before the troubled federal website was grabbing headlines everywhere.

By now, Americans may know more, according to Silvia Barcellos, an economist at the University of Southern California who led the study.

She said she and her colleagues are planning a follow-up survey in April to see if there has been a change.

Regardless, Barcellos said, the current findings are worrisome, especially the lack of awareness among the uninsured.

"These are the people everyone is counting on to enroll," she noted.

Latest Health Reform News

Loading …
URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices