Survey: Most uninsured say they plan to get health insurance

Feb. 3, 2014 at 9:26 PM
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PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Fifty-six percent of uninsured U.S. adults who say they plan to get health insurance will do so via a government health insurance marketplace, a survey shows.

The survey of 1,593 U.S. adults who currently do not have health insurance was conducted Jan. 2-28 as part of the Gallup Daily tracking interviews.

Fifty-three percent of all uninsured U.S. adults said they planned to get health insurance, while 38 percent said they are more likely to pay the fine the government will assess most Americans who lack health insurance, the survey said.

Gallup previously reported a drop in the uninsured rate, from 17.3 percent in December to 16.1 percent in early January, a figure that remains unchanged through Jan. 28.

If the uninsured rate continued to drop in the coming months, the percentage of uninsured Americans aware of the requirement and the percentage planning to get insurance might also continue to decline, Gallup said.

The percentage planning to get insurance is down from 60 percent of the then-uninsured pool in December. This decline may be attributable as much to the shrinking uninsured population as to changes in uninsured Americans' intentions for obtaining insurance, Gallup said.

Only 23 percent of the uninsured said they visited, or have attempted to visit, a federal or state health insurance exchange website. This number is little changed from 26 percent in December, and 20 percent in October and November, when many Americans had difficulty accessing the online health insurance marketplace sites because of technical issues.

Apparently many of those who plan to get insurance by the March 31 deadline have yet to take specific steps toward doing so, Gallup said. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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