Get Covered Illinois: Valentine's Day survey reveals health care is important factor for new couples

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[February 14, 2014]  CHICAGO From online dating to matchmaking services, in today's world, people have many ways to find "the one." But when it comes to pursuing a relationship, a new survey from Get Covered Illinois shows that for many Illinoisans, health insurance is an important factor. Of those surveyed, 67 percent, or more than two-thirds, listed having health coverage as something they value when starting a relationship, more so than the other person owning the latest technology, owning a dog or having a tattoo.

As Valentine's Day approached and Get Covered Illinois is in its two-month push to the March 31 enrollment deadline date, GCI surveyed Illinoisans to find out just how important the role of health care plays in relationships. More than three-fourths of Illinoisans, 76 percent, would be somewhat concerned if they discovered their significant other didn't have health insurance.

Through Get Covered Illinois, community members can find comprehensive and affordable plans that are right for them.

"You never know where you're going to find your perfect match, and you never know what's going to happen in life," said Bela Gandhi, founder of the Smart Dating Academy. "But having health care is an important step in showing that you take care of yourself, think about the future and are ready to take the next step with a potential partner. Getting health coverage shows you are proactive, pull your own weight and make good decisions. People need to remember that the common marriage vow in sickness and in health you need to take that seriously. Without health coverage, you might not be able to care for someone you love."

Though health care might seem an unlikely consideration when just meeting someone, more than 58 percent of respondents said they would likely have second thoughts about pursuing a relationship if their significant other could have had health insurance but decided not to purchase it.

The survey also shows that more women than men think their potential partner having health coverage is more desirable, and in general they value it more than men. Women are significantly more likely to view health insurance as a major consideration in starting a relationship, with 55 percent rating it a 4 or 5 on a five-point scale, compared with 33 percent for men.

Notably, younger Illinoisans ages 19-24 are most likely to say their significant other's health is a major concern consideration (rated 4 or 5), more so than other age groups (84 percent, compared with 67 percent of those ages 25 and older).

"We know health care is valued by individuals and families, and that's why Get Covered Illinois is doing everything we can to reach Illinois' uninsured population," said Jennifer Koehler, executive director of GCI. "This survey is important because it shows health care counts in relationships, especially new ones."

In brief, the GCI survey found:

  • Health care is the No. 2 "turn on" in new relationships, at 67 percent, behind keeping up on current events more desired than the latest technology, religion, tattoos or owning a dog.

  • 76 percent of those starting a new relationship would be somewhat concerned if their significant other lacked health coverage, thinking they might not take the best care of themselves.

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  • Having health coverage is a strong No. 3 desired factor in new relationships, along with job potential and family background, following only personal health and financial stability as top traits.

  • 57 percent of those starting a new relationship would have second thoughts if the other person passed up the chance to get health coverage.

This statewide telephone survey was fielded by Braun Research, using random-digit-dial and including both landline and cellphone-only households. In total, 1,281 Illinoisans completed the study, including 403 uninsured residents. Final results were weighted to accurately reflect Illinoisans statewide. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish. The margin of error for this survey is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The survey was fielded between Jan. 25 and Feb. 6.

Get Covered Illinois is urging health care consumers to take advantage of the assistance that is being offered via the Web, over the phone and in person through hundreds of community partners across the state:

  • Visit the website, getcoveredillinois.gov, which includes a Spanish-language version.

  • Call the Get Covered Illinois help desk at 866-311-1119. Operators are available each day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Meet in person with a specially trained "navigator" who can help you understand your options and even help you enroll at one of the hundreds of partner sites across the state. There are more than 1,500 navigators throughout the state, and they can be located by visiting the website and entering your ZIP code, or through the help desk.

[Text from file received from Get Covered Illinois]

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