Jun. 18, 2014

Help Us, Help You: Why Surveys Matter

By Sara Chang, Senior Manager of Advocacy and Government Relations

In today’s digital age, email inboxes are filled with public opinion polls and surveys.  Most of us probably delete a majority of them, but I have discovered that surveys, questionnaires, and opinion polls matter.  Why do surveys matter; what role do they serve; and why complete surveys for the Lupus Foundation of America? 

We rely on the experiences of others in order to make crucial decisions, which can be expanded into an opportunity to positively influence change to help others.  In the lupus community, many people have recently obtained health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  The Health Insurance Marketplace was designed to allow individuals, who do not have access to employer-sponsored health insurance, a place to compare health plans, get answers to questions, find out if they are eligible for tax credits or Medicaid expansion, and finally, to enroll in a health insurance plan that meets their health care needs. 

The Health Insurance Marketplace is new for everyone:  insurers; states; and, Americans purchasing the insurance plan.  Many individuals purchasing health insurance plans in the Marketplace have never had health insurance before, are making health care decisions on their own for the first time, or are finally able to access health insurance for the first time after receiving their lupus diagnosis. 

When a new program is conceived and implemented, there will be bumps in the road and unforeseen challenges.  The Foundation is working to better understand the positives and negatives of the new health insurance marketplaces through a series of surveys.  The Foundation’s Health Insurance Marketplace survey was created to help us take a broad look at health insurance use and access to care in the Marketplace for people with lupus.  For example, we want to learn about an individual’s access to medications and specialists.  Also, we want to know more about the costs of the treatments and out of pocket caps.

If you or someone you know has purchased a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, please take a moment to complete our survey.  Any information and experiences constituents can relay is vitally important to ensuring the program meets the needs of those it intended to serve.  The Foundation is committed to improving the lives of people with lupus by ensuring that they have access to treatments and care.  Your input it vital for helping us achieve our mission.