Americans Are in the Dark About ACA Deadlines

darkFifty-five percent of Americans don’t know the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to a report. In fact, 24% said that the deadline had already passed on January 1, 2014, and 11% wrongly assume that they have until December 31, 2014 to sign up, a full nine months after the March 31, 2014 deadline.

More than three in five of Americans think the government will push the deadline back. While the Obama Administration has changed many of the other Affordable Care Act deadlines, Americans should not assume that the March 31st deadline will be moved, said insurance analyst Doug Whiteman.

Despite major efforts to inform young adults about the Affordable Care Act and the upcoming deadline to sign up for health insurance, 18- to 29-year olds are the most confused about the cutoff date and the most likely to think the government will push back the deadline. Whiteman said that it’s especially worrisome that young adults — who are the most likely to be uninsured — are the least informed about the deadline and the most likely to think it will be moved. Obamacare’s success hinges on young, healthy Americans signing up, so if they continue to procrastinate past the deadline, it could cause insurance premiums to increase.

Also, people who miss the March 31st deadline will have to wait until next year’s open enrollment period if they decide they want health insurance unless they experience a qualifying event in the interim, such as marriage , he said.

Thirty-six percent of Americans say their health care spending is higher than it was 12 months ago while only 7% say it is lower. Americans with annual household incomes of $30,000 to $49,999 are the most likely to know the correct Obamacare sign-up deadline. So far, about 80% of those who have signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act have received a subsidy from the federal government.

The survey also reveals that 33% of Americans are more negative about Obamacare than they were one year ago while only 12% are more positive. This is the largest spread since Bankrate started conducting these monthly surveys in August 2013. has a free calculator that helps consumers determine their eligibility and compare costs at

Last Updated 10/13/2021

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