Even After Website Improvements, Obamacare’s Exchanges Get Poor Marks From Uninsured

Healthcare.govHealthcare.govYou can make Obamacare’s exchange technology usable. But that doesn’t mean that the uninsured will suddenly decide they like it.

There’s little question that Obamacare has fewer tech woes now than when its online health insurance exchange system launched in October. Anything approaching functionality, however, would have been a meaningful improvement. During the first month, the federal exchange covering 36 states was practically unusable for most people. And the second month wasn’t a whole lot better.

The most noticeable operational improvement came at the beginning of December. Capacity improved significantly, error rates dropped, and lots of users finally found that they could get through the gauntlet: The vast majority of the insurance sign-ups that have been reported in the federal exchange system took place during that third month.

What didn’t improve by much, however, was the perception of the user experience amongst the uninsured. Daily tracking polls by Gallup found that, overall, 63 percent of the uninsured who visited an exchange site reported a negative experience using Obamacare’s exchanges in October and November, when the online technology was at its worst.

Yet even after the December technology upgrades, a clear majority of the same group continued to give the site poor marks. According to the same daily tracking poll, 59 percent of the uninsured reported a negative or very negative experience using the exchanges. Indeed, the share of uninsured individuals who reported a “very negative” experience stayed the same at 29 percent; the percentage who said their experience was negative dropped from 34 in October and November to 30 percent in December.

File this under More Reasons Obamacare Won’t Be Popular Any Time Soon. Yes, many more people are now signing up for coverage under the law, but its design, even the part that’s supposed to be simple and user-friendly, remains irksome, even to the uninsured—the people the law is supposedly designed to benefit the most. 

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  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    They will learn to love it 5, 10, 20, 40 years from now. Once the people are beaten down.

  • ||

    It was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Obamacare.

  • Ted S.||

    Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the ACA

  • kinnath||

    People that don't have enough money beyond paying rent and utilities and buying groceries tend to find a thousand bucks a month to be difficult to set aside for crappy health insurance.

  • some guy||

    So the front end works better. Great. Any idea how the back end is functioning? Is the information being processed properly? Are the payments being passed on to insurers properly?

  • Tman||

  • Ted S.||

    This isn't a criticism of you, but I wish newpaper and media sites would all have the headline be part of the URL.

  • Jordan||

    Is it still an identity thief's wet dream? Yep. If a private company tried to setup a website which gathers personal information with this level of insecurity, somebody would probably end up in prison.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm sure it is. You can't bolt on security, is what my IT wallahs tell me. You have to build it in from the get-go.

    Aside from the payment processing, the other broken back-end is all the verification with other govt databases. I'm sure that's not fixed, and won't be in our lifetime, because those other databases are crap, always have been, and ain't getting fixed.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It would be a grave crime to hack an Obamacare web portal. Like treason. No one would ever do that. You rightwingers need to learn to trust people.

  • some guy||

    Peoples lives and livelihoods are on the line here, RC! What's your identity worth in the grand scheme of progressivism?

  • some guy||

    On the plus side, most of the people using the website are getting Medicaid and probably don't have identities worth stealing.

  • Lord Humungus||

    now that's just goal post moving. It's obvious that (finally) creating a market for a bunch of shitty overpriced insurance is a success!

  • AlmightyJB||

    I like it just fine. In fact, the more broken it is the better I like it.

  • Mr. Vibrating||

    This is 2014. It was my understanding there would be no polls involved.

  • Ted S.||

    Wait until the next Reason-Rupe poll is taken, and we get 50548425087432865 articles on H&R about it.

    And if you didn't know, Lou Reed is still dead.

  • Sevo||

    ..."It was my understanding there would be no polls involved."...

    If you think I'm here to stare are your ugly mug instead of Emily, well...

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Look, the only people purchasing Obamacare are those desperate for health "insurance". They are the old, those with pre-existing conditions, and those anticipating the use of healthcare. The sub-category of young people generally identified as responsible already have coverage via a parent's plan or an employer. That leaves the less responsible youths who probably could have purchased individual insurance previously at more affordable rates but chose not to. Those individuals aren't now going to jump into Obamacare because 1. They're probably broke. 2. They aren't terribly concerned about going without. 3. The individual mandate won't harm them all that much.

    OC is now a high-risk pool.

  • creech||

    And I'd bet that the IRS will never find even 50% of those who should have to pay the penalty for going uninsured.

  • Sevo||

    "And I'd bet that the IRS will never find even 50% of those who should have to pay the penalty for going uninsured."

    The way the back end of the O'care site is 'working', I'm saying you've got a solid bet.

  • ImanAzol||

    4: it's Bush's fault and you're a racist. They have agency now, against your patriarchal easy-setting white male privilege.

    Ten years from now they'll find out they're the patriarchal white males and it will be too late for them to object. Or they'll be so totally pussified that even the free gender reassignment will be irrelevant.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Obamatron suffers a sudden bout of reality to the face: Oregon Mother Can’t Afford Obamacare

    Holly, a freelance yoga instructor, stated, “I’ve been a cheerleader for the Affordable Care Act since I heard about it and I assumed that it was designed for people in my situation.”

    Holly is now married and mom to one and a half year old boy and finds herself in a difficult predicament.

    “I was planning on using the Affordable Care Act and I had done the online calculator that they had in advance to make sure I was going to be able to afford it” she revealed to KOIN-OR.

    Holly says that with their family’s income level, they should qualify for subsidies, but due to a loophole caused by Obamacare, they will not qualify. Private insurance plans are too costly for the Holly family, so she remains without health insurance.
  • Lady Bertrum||

    From the article:

    Her husband is employed by a local nonprofit, which pays for his health insurance. Adding on Holly or her son to her husband’s plan would cost too much.

    So, she actually has access to health insurance. What she really wants is the subsidy or FREE SHIT. Another person looking to suckle off the tit.

    The article says she has a toddler but has gone without health insurance for 13 years. How exactly did she pay for her o.b. and hospital or midwife services? It also refers to her as newly married. Who wants to bet she was single when she was pregnant and Medicaid paid for her maternity?

  • Sevo||

    “I’ve been a cheerleader for the Affordable Care Act since I heard about it and I assumed that it was designed for people in my situation.”

    Ha and ha, Holly; you got what you paid for.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Freelance (unemployed/marginally employed) yoga instructor. Must be nice to have the State subsidize your exercise routine. How about you go get a real job with pay and benefits and exercise or build your business on your own time and your own dime?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Tell me again why I should be compelled to purchase a private financial service through a government web site.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    “I’ve been a cheerleader for the Affordable Care Act since I heard about it and I assumed that it was designed for people in my situation.”

    Haha, sucker!

  • playa manhattan||

    "freelance yoga instructor". Pretty much.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    ...designed for people in her situation....

    translation: I want to pursue the career I want at an intensity and style I prefer while enjoying my lifestyle. I also expect others to pick-up the tab for services I "deserve" like having a kid because compassion.

  • Sevo||

    ..."Yes, many more people are now signing up for coverage under the law,"...
    And they are doing so because you'll pay a fine if you don't.

  • Mock-star||

    Even the name "Affordable Care Act" makes me laugh everytime I hear it. Because as everyone knows, the best way to make something more affordable is to mandate that everyone insert a middleman in between seller and buyer.

  • Texann||

    Wait until the previously uninsured learn about their new high deductibles! Embrace the still, y'all voted for this, you live with it. Hubby and I are currently exempt since Obama illegally exempted the employer mandate for tis year but we have gotten notice from the company that changes will be coming as a result of CACA, the Can't Afford Care Act. Spit. Why did the Dems mess with the care of 300 million Americans, most of whom were satisfied with that care, in order to "help" the 30 million uninsured? Because it was never about care, it is about CONTROL. Double spit.

  • Texann||

    Sorry, embrace the stink not still!

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