Industry News

Closer Look at the Uninsured Population

Episode Summary

This transcript covers insights from a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey on the characteristics of the uninsured population eligible for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace. With ACA open enrollment underway, these findings can help agents optimize outreach strategies to connect the uninsured to affordable plans.

Here are some key takeaways:

- There are an estimated 12.1 million uninsured Americans who could potentially shop for coverage on the ACA marketplace. The vast majority, 10.9 million, are eligible for subsidies to lower the cost of coverage.

- Of those eligible for subsidies, 6 million could get a free marketplace plan with a zero-dollar monthly premium after accounting for financial assistance. This represents a huge opportunity to enroll previously uninsured individuals and families into coverage.

- The uninsured eligible for subsidies disproportionately belong to certain demographic groups compared to the general population. 30% are Hispanic, indicating a need for multilingual outreach and cultural competence. 59% have a high school education or less, signaling that messaging should be simple and easy to digest. 42% are young adults between 19-34 years old, meaning affordability and family plans are likely key selling points.

- Geographically, states like Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia have high concentrations of eligible uninsured individuals. Agents in these areas are well positioned for growth by tapping into this market.

- 16% of the subsidy-eligible uninsured reside in rural non-metro regions. This highlights the need for agents to look beyond big cities and not overlook smaller communities.

- 11% lack home internet access altogether. Digital marketing alone would fail to reach over 10% of the target population. Offline grassroots strategies are essential for maximizing enrollment reach.

- Over a third speak a language other than English at home. Multilingual agents who can connect in the consumer's native language have a distinctive advantage.

In terms of plan selection, many who qualify for a free bronze plan could get better overall value from a low-cost silver plan with substantially lower deductibles. However, some focus narrowly on minimizing monthly premiums. This points to the need for education on the tradeoffs so consumers fully understand the options.

Even with high deductibles, health insurance coverage has tangible benefits compared to being uninsured. Preventive services are covered at no charge before the deductible. There are also limits on total out-of-pocket spending.

For lower-income individuals who qualify for free bronze plans, this coverage is far superior to remaining uninsured despite the high deductibles. However, with careful advising, many would likely opt for low-cost silver plans with more robust coverage.

With subsidies now available through 2025, the opportunity to enroll the uninsured will continue for years to come. This market represents a major growth avenue for agents who approach it strategically. Just enrolling one previously uninsured family can have an outsized impact.


(0:00:03) - Who are the uninsured people that you should reach out to during ACA open enrollment
(0:10:56) - 35% of those eligible for free bronze speak a language other than English at home
(0:12:23) - Kaiser Family Foundation says many uninsured would be better off with a silver plan
(0:18:06) - Over half of the uninsured population that needs help is in your neighborhood
(0:23:03) - Whether you're listening to this on the first or a few weeks later

Related Episodes: