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Gallup Poll: Most Uninsured Americans Haven’t Visited Health Exchange Sites

Three in 10 are familiar with the exchanges (November 8)

In the midst of widespread news coverage of problems with the federal health exchange Web site, relatively few uninsured Americans (18%) — the primary target population for the exchanges — have so far attempted to visit an exchange website. The percentage is slightly higher — 22% — among uninsured Americans who say they plan to get insurance through the exchanges.

These results are based on a series of questions Gallup asked uninsured Americans about the health exchanges from Oct. 23 to Nov. 6.

Gallup previously found that less than half of uninsured Americans (44%) who plan to get insurance say they will do so through an exchange, and about one in four say they are more likely to pay a fine instead of getting insurance. These findings help explain the low percentage of the uninsured who have attempted to access the exchange websites.

Still, the fact that less than a quarter of uninsured Americans who say they plan to get insurance through an exchange have visited one so far suggests that other factors are at work, Gallup says. It may be that many uninsured Americans are waiting to try out the health exchange websites until their highly publicized problems are fixed, or they may simply be putting off decisions about getting insurance until later.

Three in 10 uninsured Americans are somewhat or very familiar with the exchanges, and that lack of familiarity is similar among those who claim they will most likely buy insurance through the exchanges.

Overall, about 17% of U.S. adults interviewed between Oct. 23 and Nov. 6 reported having no health insurance, similar to the percentages found in the first three quarters of this year.

Results for this Gallup poll were based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 23–Nov. 6, 2013, with a random sample of 854 uninsured adults, 18 years of age and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Source: Gallup; November 8, 2013.

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