ObamaCare activists face confusion over healthcare law

ADVERTISEMENT
That point was echoed by Jason Madrak, the chief marketing officer of Connecticut's state-based marketplace.

"There is a low-level awareness overall of the Affordable Care Act," Madrak said on the call.

"There is often confusion and misunderstanding based on disinformation campaigns [about the law] … The conversations that we have are just making people aware that the law is still here, that they have some obligations and a boatload of opportunities as a result."

"Folks really don't know this is coming," said Antoinette Kraus, director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network.

"Folks aren't connecting the new benefits to the Affordable Care Act. That is really important also in the general education for the public." 

The activists nonetheless delivered an upbeat message, saying their efforts are making headway and will intensify in the coming weeks.

Confusion has plagued healthcare reform since its passage in 2010. Recent polls attest to this: one-third told USA Today this month that they have little or no understanding of how the law works.

Activists are trying to remedy this confusion over the next six months, hoping to make enough progress to guarantee solid enrollment numbers for the new marketplaces.

The campaigns are trying to reach young, healthy people in particular. Their participation is crucial in order to balance out premium costs for older, sicker patients.

Families USA organized Wednesday's call to highlight successful and creative public outreach efforts at the state level.

States represented on the call — including Missouri, Minnesota and Kentucky — have held a flood of public information drives at sports and community events and popular gathering spots, activists said.

Connecticut's exchange, Access Health CT, paid for a sponsorship at a Hartford arena, exposing concertgoers to information about ObamaCare benefits.

That state's marketplace will also open two retail locations in underserved cities next month.

"We view that as a key way to manifest our commitment to being in communities" and providing "expert guidance and help," Madrak said.