Millions of Americans miss out on tax credits for health insurance because they don’t buy policies on government exchanges

Commonwealth Fund graphic:
People who visited marketplaces, but didn’t enroll

About 2.5 million Americans are overpaying for health insurance because they don’t use the government exchanges or marketplaces that provide tax credits to reduce premiums, says a study by the Department of Health and Human Services. Kentuckians will use the federal exchange to enroll, starting Nov. 1.

HHS estimates that of the 6.9 million people who have health insurance in the off-exchange individual market, “1.9 million either have incomes that would qualify them for Medicaid or place them in the Medicaid coverage gap, or are ineligible to purchase marketplace coverage due to immigration status, while the remainder could enroll in marketplace-qualified health plans.”

Amother problem is that only 46 percent of uninsured adults (as of spring 2015) were aware that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act offers financial assistance, according to a 2015 study by The Commonwealth Fund, report the fund’s Sophie Beutel, Sara R. Collins and Munira Z. Gunja. Researchers also found that in 2014 more than half of people who visited the marketplace but did not enroll said they weren’t able to find an affordable plan, even though “most of these people had incomes that made them eligible for premium subsidies.”

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