Americans Still Oppose Health Care Reform Law as Effective Date Nears

health care reform lawAs the final effective date for the health care reform law draws near, many Americans are still not feeling confident that it will benefit them. According to a CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday, the majority of Americans are opposed to the Affordable Care Act.

But despite their sentiments, in just a few short months most will be required to take the beginning steps of securing health insurance. How will this major change impact their lives?

Majority of Americans Oppose Health Care Reform Law

The CNN/ORC poll, conducted early this month, revealed that 54 percent of respondents were opposed to so-called Obamacare, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010.

A smaller population — just 43 percent — said they approved of the health care reform law.

Of the population who opposed the law, 16 percent said they disapproved because they felt the law was not liberal enough, while 35 percent said the measure was too liberal to them.

The poll, which takes a look at the law from a partisan standpoint did not explore how respondents felt about individual aspects of the law, particularly the requirement of purchasing health insurance coverage to avoid a penalty, which many Americans have openly opposed.

But a separate study conducted by HealthPocket revealed that nearly two-thirds of consumers were not impressed with the provision. In fact, the respondents said they would not purchase health insurance to avoid the $95 penalty that would be imposed by the IRS for failing to purchase coverage by 2014.

How Law Will Impact Your Health Insurance in 2014

The health insurance mandate is just one of many changes that will take place under the health care reform law by the beginning of 2014. Here is a short list of other provisions to take effect in coming months:

  • Expanded Medicaid coverage
  • Health insurance exchanges open
  • Health insurance premium and cost-sharing subsidies
  • Guaranteed availability of health insurance (no denials based on pre-existing conditions)
  • No annual limits on coverage
  • Wellness programs in insurance
  • Essential Health Benefits (four categories of health plans created by the government)
  • Employer requirements (employers with more than 50 employees required to offer coverage to full-time employees or pay penalties)

Of those changes, provisions like expanded Medicaid, cost-sharing subsidies and wellness programs may provide financial benefits to individuals who have wanted to purchase coverage but felt they could not afford it.

Individuals who expect to take part in government-sponsored health plans by 2014 will be able to sign up during open enrollment, beginning in October. In the coming weeks, more states will release information regarding how and when residents should sign up for coverage.