California Healthline: The Undecided: A Closer Look at the Decision To Enroll

by Anthony Wilson

Fewer than two weeks remain in the initial open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges, and the Obama administration is nearing the Congressional Budget Office’s enrollment projection of six million. What’s keeping procrastinators from signing up? Perhaps they’re still questioning whether it makes more sense to enroll in coverage or just pay the penalty for not complying with the law’s individual mandate.

According to a recent Gallup poll, uninsured U.S. residents remain fairly evenly split on the issue. The poll found that 55% of the uninsured plan to purchase coverage this year and a significant minority (37%) will likely opt to pay the penalty.

Obviously, individuals’ personal politics come into play when deciding whether to comply with the ACA’s individual mandate. However, for many others — particularly young adults — the decision comes to down a purely financial one. This edition of “Road to Reform” explores the factors behind the decision.

How Much Is the Penalty?


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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
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