NEW YORK (MainStreet) More than half of Americans (55%) still do not know the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is March 31, according to a new Bankrate.com report.
The survey found that 24% incorrectly think the deadline already passed on Jan. 1 while 11% wrongly think they have until December 31, 2014 to sign up, a full nine months after the March 31, 2014 deadline.
Many Americans are not taking the deadline to sign up for Obamacare seriously. More than three in five (62%) of Americans think the government will push the deadline back to a later date.
"While the Obama Administration has changed many of the other Affordable Care Act deadlines, Americans should not assume that the March 31 deadline will be moved," said Bankrate.com insurance analyst Doug Whiteman. "We haven't seen a big publicity push from administration. However, lots of people aren't taking this seriously."
Despite major undertakings 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, the survey found. Only 43% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 knew the correct deadline while 48% of individuals earning $75,000 or more knew the right answer, compared with 40% of those earning less than $30,000.
The survey also showed that 54% of college graduates chose the correct deadline, versus 40% with a high school education or less.
"We have seen a lot of confusion for the past six months," he said. "There has definitely been a knowledge gap. We would hope people would be more informed about it."
People who miss the March 31 deadline will have to wait until next year's open enrollment period if they decide they want subsidized health insurance, unless they experience a qualifying event such as marriage in the interim.