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New health insurance marketplaces signing up few uninsured Americans, two surveys find

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New health insurance marketplaces signing up few uninsured Americans, two surveys find

By Amy Goldstein, Published: March 6

The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway in signing up Americans who lack insurance, the Affordable Care Act’s central goal, according to a pair of new surveys.

Only one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new marketplaces enrolled as of last month, one of the surveys shows. The other found that about half of uninsured adults have looked for information on the online exchanges or planned to look.

The snapshots from the surveys released Thursday provide preliminary answers to what has been one of the biggest mysteries since HealthCare.gov and separate state marketplaces opened last fall: Are they attracting their prime audience?

The findings emerge as the Obama administration has been revising a series of rules that define how the 2010 law works in practice. According to a variety of health-policy experts who support and oppose the law, the changes are in response to consumer hesitancy and political opposition that linger — at least, in the early going — as the law’s major provisions have taken effect.

The rule changes have postponed or relaxed aspects of the law, sometimes to adjust for technical problems, other times to push into the future controversies that have arisen from specific groups of consumers or parts of the health-care industry.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/health-insurance-marketplaces-signing-up-few-uninsured-americans-surveys-say/2014/03/06/cdae3152-a54d-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_print.html