New National Survey Shows Consumers Who Enrolled Were Better Informed About the Law; Newly Enrolled Happy with Coverage, Confident They Can Pay Premiums

Survey by Enroll America Offers Most Detailed Picture to Date of New Enrollees and the Remaining Uninsured

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
CONTACT: Justin Nisly | 202-601-2494

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, Enroll America released the results of an expansive new survey of consumers who enrolled in coverage during the first Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, and consumers who remain uninsured. The survey, which was conducted by prominent health care research firm PerryUndem, found strong and widespread interest in enrolling, but those who enrolled knew more details of the law and its benefits – for instance, 56% of enrollees knew that financial assistance was available, while only 26% of those who did not enroll were aware.

The newly enrolled are four times more likely to say they are happy with their coverage than unhappy (41% to 11%), and 74% of new enrollees were very or somewhat confident they would be able to pay their premiums moving forward. Some of the top factors motivating enrollment included both being able to see a doctor and avoiding the fine. Affordability and difficulties navigating the website were two of the biggest obstacles for those who looked for insurance but did not enroll. Showing the great opportunity available in the next open enrollment period, 84% of those who remain uninsured were either “definitely” or “probably” interested in enrolling or weren’t sure, with only 14% of respondents saying they will “probably” or “definitely” not apply.

“This survey makes clear that the education and outreach carried out by Enroll America and our partners is critically important – when consumers know the insurance options and financial assistance that are available to them, they choose to enroll in coverage,” said Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America. “The fact that so many consumers are already happily using their new insurance to see their doctor and fill their prescriptions only renews our determination to take what we’ve learned and reach even more people over the coming years.”

The survey, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment, was conducted via an online panel facilitated by Knowledge Networks between April 10-28, 2014, and reached 671 newly enrolled individuals and 853 people who remain uninsured. It offers the most in-depth exploration to date of the factors that affected consumer enrollment decisions during the first open enrollment period. Respondents were asked a wide variety of questions about their experiences with the enrollment process, perceptions of cost, their reasons for their enrollment decision, their satisfaction with their coverage, their health, how they intend to use their new plans, and their expectations regarding future enrollment.  Some of the other findings from the poll include:

  • The newly enrolled are four times more likely to say they are happy with their coverage than unhappy (41% vs 11%), and they are using their new coverage – 38% have tried to see a doctor, and 36% have filled a prescription. Only 9% had trouble getting the care they needed, and only 13% feel there are not enough providers in their network.
  • Mothers were particularly important to the enrollment of young adults 18-29: 19% said “mom” helped them enroll.
  • Latinos faced significant barriers to enrollment, including significant knowledge gaps on most Affordable Care Act topics. However, they are just as likely to say they intend to look for coverage during the next open enrollment.
  • After persistent outreach from the enrollment coalition in the first part of this year, African-American and Latino consumers went from 25% of enrollees in the first three months of open enrollment to 38% of enrollees in 2014.
  • While the vast majority of consumers said they wanted health insurance, the mandate played an important role in motivating them to action; 40% of the newly enrolled said they might not have taken action if it were not for the law.
  • 48% of those who didn’t try to enroll said it was because they assumed they wouldn’t be able to afford coverage.
  • The newly enrolled reported themselves to be slightly healthier than those who did not enroll – 43% of the newly enrolled described their health as excellent or very good, while 36% of those who did not enroll said the same thing.


Though the first open enrollment period is over, Enroll America is maintaining over two hundred staff in our offices across the country to reach out to consumers who are eligible for Medicaid or for special Marketplace enrollment periods, including those who had a baby, got married, or lost a job. In June, Enroll America will host the State of Enrollment: Getting America Covered National Conference to bring together national, regional, and local enrollment leaders to take a critical look at what worked, what obstacles consumers continue to face, and how to ensure the second open enrollment period coming in November is even more successful than the first.


About Get Covered America and Enroll America

Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in 11 states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN, and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about the new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

For more information on Enroll America and its efforts, visit

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