Half the Uninsured Say They'll Stay Uninsured


New poll numbers suggest the challenge the Obama administration faces as Obamacare's open enrollment period draws to a close. Half of the uninsured say they plan to remain uninsured, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. And 60 percent don't know when the sign-up deadline is.

Here's the chart:

Kaiser Family Foundation

Two thirds of the uninsured, meanwhile, say they haven't tried to get coverage yet. 

Numbers like these may help explain why the administration chose to extend Obamacare's open enrollment period. A sizable segment of the uninsured population is clearly not paying too much attention to the deadline details. With more time, it may be that the administration hopes to be able reach some of those people.

But there's also a risk that the extension, which comes via a special enrollment period for people who claim they had trouble signing up before, may simply add to the existing uncertainty. If lots of uninsured people didn't know about the deadline before, then extending it, while pretending not to extend it, might just confuse them further.