The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is making headlines this month because a key provision is set to go into effect on Oct. 1, and Republicans in Congress are trying to block funding for the program. Health Insurance Exchanges are designed to help more consumers find affordable insurance, which could be good news for the 40 percent of Americans who are paying more for health insurance and medical care now than they were just one year ago.

Bankrate.com conducted the first Health Insurance Pulse Survey between Aug. 15–18, 2013. The survey asked 1,000 adults several questions about health care reform, the Affordable Care Act, medical costs and more. A few highlights from the survey include:

  • 47 percent of parents with children under the age of 18 are spending more on health care this year, compared to only 37 percent of other respondents. (Translation: kids are expensive.)
  • 13 percent of respondents with a college degree say their access to quality health care is worse than it was one year ago, compared to 22 percent of non-degreed individuals who say the same.
  • 55 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of Independents, and 7 percent of Democrats have a more negative opinion of how Obamacare will affect them.
  • 24 percent of people making less than $30,000 per year most want to know what Obamacare basically is.
This last statistic is rather alarming, especially at this time. In just eight days the main consumer-focused tenet of Obamacare goes into effect and nearly one-quarter of the population that is most likely to benefit from the provision doesn’t even know what it is. This is unfortunate. The majority of Affordable Care Act news coverage I read is political-based as opposed to information-based and unless the general public is educated about what it is and how it can help, the rhetoric will only continue.

If you’re one of those consumers trying to figure out the Affordable Care Act, check out my list of 5 online Obamacare resources. In about an hour, you will have a better understanding of health care reform and how it may affect you.

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