WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that almost half of Americans feel that the online health insurance exchanges associated with the Affordable Care Act are not working.
The federal government has released no comprehensive data on how many people have enrolled for health insurance using federally run exchanges, the online marketplaces being used in 36 states for residents to compare and buy insurance.
In the 14 states running their own exchanges, the situation isn’t much better.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is overseeing the federally run exchanges, doesn’t expect to release enrollment data until mid-November. But scattered reports from those states aren’t encouraging.
For example, Delaware had yet to confirm a single enrollment by Thursday, and many Florida groups designated to help people sign up say they still can’t complete the enrollment process online.
According to a release on Pew’s website, only 29 percent rated the site as working very to fairly well while a reported 46 percent said gave it more negative reviews.
Pew additionally learned that only 22 percent of the nation’s uninsured persons have visited the exchanges.
“So far, most of the visitors to the exchange websites are people who have insurance … [and m]ost (58 percent) who have visited the sites say they went just to learn more about the exchanges, while 32 percent say they were looking for health care options for themselves or their families,” the release notes.
Researchers added, “Despite offering critical evaluations of how well the exchanges are working, many of the sites’ actual visitors report that they did not face significant problems.”
People who visited for the purpose of gathering information gave negative marks by a 56-percent to 37-percent margin. However, 56 percent of those who used the site to actually enroll said it was easy to use.
“Even though most report that they found the exchanges easy to use … exchange users say the overall program is not working well,” the release adds.
Researchers at Pew conducted the survey earlier this month. The release states that 1,504 randomly selected adults participated in the study.
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