Gallup Poll: 25% Will Pay Fine Instead of Buying Health Insurance

October 1st, 2013

As it stands now, it is economically rational for many people to pay the small fine (or is it a tax?) for not having health insurance. A Gallup Poll confirms this:

 Nearly two in three uninsured Americans say they will get insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, rather than pay a fine as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while one in four say they will pay the fine. Less than half of the uninsured say they plan on getting health insurance specifically through a federal or state health insurance exchange.

Perhaps more troubling, is that among the uninsured, awareness of the insurance mandate is much lower than in the overall population. But, the numbers are increasing, so the uninsured are learning about the law.

Overall, 83% of Americans are aware that most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a fine beginning January 2014. This awareness drops to 68% among those who are uninsured, and is at 69% among the vital group of 18- to 29-year-olds who are the most likely of any age group to be uninsured.

Although the uninsured’s awareness of the individual mandate component of the ACA remains below the national average, it is up by 12 percentage points from a June 20-24 survey, when 56% of uninsured Americans said they were aware of it.’

These awareness numbers should continue to increase.