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Experiences of Uninsured With Exchanges Mostly Negative

Experiences of Uninsured With Exchanges Mostly Negative

Overall, 21% of uninsured have visited a government health exchange website

PRINCETON, NJ -- Uninsured Americans who have visited a federal or state health insurance exchange website generally have been unhappy with their experience. Sixty-three percent of those who have visited say their experience using the health exchange was negative, including 30% who say it was "very negative." About a third, 34% say their experience was positive, with 5% rating it as "very positive."

Uninsured Americans’ Ratings of Gov't Insurance Exchange Websites, October-November 2013

The results are based on Gallup's interviews conducted Oct. 23-Nov. 18 with 1,573 uninsured Americans. Over this period, 17% of Americans said they lacked health insurance, and 21% of those uninsured Americans say they personally visited, or attempted to visit, a state or federal government health insurance exchange website.

Forty percent of uninsured Americans are unsure about which type of exchange website they visited, while 28% say they visited a federal exchange, 14% a state exchange, and 18% both. Stated another way because the "both" responses involve federal and state exchanges, a total of 32% of uninsured Americans who have visited websites went either just to a state site or to a federal and a state site, while 46% went just to a federal exchange or to both.

Uninsured Americans: Which Type of Website Visited? October-November 2013

Although the sample sizes are too small to look at uninsured Americans' experience with the federal and state exchanges separately, recent news reports have indicated that some state exchanges have been more successful than the federal site in signing up people for insurance. This suggests that uninsured Americans' experiences with state exchanges could be helping keep the overall ratings of the exchange website experiences from being even more negative.


These tracking data allow for hard numbers to be placed on the frequently heard reports that Americans' experiences with the health insurance exchange websites to date have been far from acceptable. Uninsured Americans who visited a federal or state website were almost twice as likely to report having a negative rather than a positive experience, and many more Americans say they had a "very negative" experience than say they had a "very positive" one.

More telling, perhaps, is the finding that about eight in 10 uninsured Americans have not visited a health insurance exchange website at all, although other Gallup research has found that less than half of uninsured Americans who plan to get insurance say they intend to get it through a federal or state exchange.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 23-Nov.18, 2013, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,573 uninsured adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the sample of uninsured adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

For results based on the total sample of 375 uninsured Americans who have visited an insurance exchange website, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±6 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline and cell telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, and cellphone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

View methodology, full question results, and trend data.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit

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