Knowledge of PPACA and health reform in general has increased over the last year. After declining during 2011, when the legislation received less attention, the percentage of consumers who said they know something about health reform increased from 27% in Q1 2011 to 46% in Q4 2012. The percentage who said they never heard of the legislation declined during the same time, from 22% in Q1 2011 to 9% in Q4 2012. Almost no one believes they know almost everything that is in the law, which is the true in Q1 2011 (1.8%) and in Q4 2012 (2.2%).
In 2011, over 40% of consumers anticipated that health reform will have no impact on the US health care system. This perception has changed dramatically in Q4 2012, with only 6% believing the law will have no impact. In 2011, 41% felt the law will have a somewhat positive or very positive impact on the health care system. The percentage expecting a positive impact increased to 56% in Q4 2012. However, the percentage of consumers who expect a negative impact from reform increased from 16% in 2011 to 38% at the end of 2012.
Despite greater awareness of health reform and a more positive attitude towards its impact on the health care system, the percentage of consumers expecting to purchase health insurance through an exchange did not change much between 2011 (26%) and 2012 (25%). Most consumers still expect to buy direct if they no longer receive coverage through their employer (44% in 2011 and 47% in 2012 indicated they would buy direct from the carrier).
As expected, Engaged consumers are far more knowledgeable concerning health reform. Only 3% of Engaged consumers said they never heard of health reform, while 56% know something about it, 19% know a lot about it and 6% believe they know almost everything in the law in Q4 2012. None of the Disengaged consumers said they know everything in the law, but 18% said they have never heard of it and 42% have only heard of it, but don’t know what is in it. Engaged consumers are more positive concerning the potential impact of reform with 60% saying they are very positive or somewhat positive, compard to 48% of Disengaged consumers who gave these responses. However, one-third of the Disengaged know so little about the law that they have no idea what the impact of health reform will be on the US health care system.