Monday, October 21, 2013

Demographic Differences in Pew Poll

The Pew Research Center is out with a new poll (in the field October 9-13), gauging public reactions to the second week of the roll-out of the online Obamacare marketplaces. The overall sample views the roll-out unfavorably. To the question "How well are online health insurance exchanges working?," 46% answered not too well or not at all well, whereas only 29% said very or fairly well (the rest said "don't know"). Young adults (18-29), who are getting a lot of media attention on the health-care issue, are split at 37-37 between the relatively favorable and unfavorable responses.

Uninsured people with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid need to consult the exchanges in order to fulfill the individual mandate to have health insurance. Some people with insurance may be interested in whether the exchanges offer a better deal that what they currently pay. The survey found that nearly two-thirds of the uninsured either have visited (22%) or plan to visit (42%) the exchanges; however, with the subsample of uninsured people numbering only 181, the margin of error is around +/- 7, a wider-than-usual interval. Among those with insurance, around one-third either have visited (12%) or plan to visit (19%). An interesting, even paradoxical finding is that:

Among those who have visited an exchange website, more say the exchanges overall are not working well by a 56%-37% margin. Yet when asked about their own experience on an exchange website, a 56% majority say they personally found the site to be very or fairly easy to use, while 40% say it was difficult to use.

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