Uninsured Report Negative Experiences with Exchanges

The majority of uninsured Americans who visited a government health exchange website reported having a mostly negative experience, and a slightly higher percentage is choosing to simply pay the fine.

The majority of uninsured Americans who visited a government health exchange website reported having a mostly negative experience, according to a new Gallup poll.

Overall, just 21% of uninsured have visited one of the exchanges and 63% of them said the experience was negative. Just 5% rated the experience as “very positive.”

A separate Gallup poll revealed that awareness among the uninsured of the need to buy insurance has leveled off. Awareness climbed for several months amid publicity about the health insurance exchanges. In July 2013 just 56% were aware that there was a requirement to have health insurance or pay a fine, but in November 77% were aware of the requirement.

“Uninsured Americans' awareness of the ACA's requirements has leveled off in November, coinciding with major problems with the exchanges that are widely interpreted as a setback for the new law,” according to Gallup.

However, the majority of those who are uninsured say they are not too or not at all familiar with the exchanges (67%).

More Americans say they will choose to pay the fine rather than buy insurance, according to this Gallup poll. Currently, 62% of uninsured Americans said they will get health insurance, but that’s down from 67% in late October.

Of those uninsured Americans who have visited the exchanges, 40% said they were unsure if they visited a federal or a state exchange website.

Despite the fact that eight in 10 Americans have yet to visit a health insurance website, Gallup reported that it may because less than half of uninsured Americans who plan to get insurance intend to do so through a federal or state exchange.

At the end of October, Gallup figured that if those who plan to pay the fine follow through and everyone else gets insurance, that would leave 4% of Americans without health insurance.