Survey: Majority Of Obamacare Enrollees Were Previously Uninsured


More than half of the 8 million people who signed up for health coverage through the insurance marketplaces set up under Obamacare were previously uninsured, according to a survey released Thursday.

The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 57 percent of those who signed up through and its state counterparts did not have insurance prior to signing up. Among the others: 16 percent already had an individual market plan, 14 percent had employer-sponsored insurance and 9 percent were covered by a public program like Medicaid.

The question of how many of the 8 million Obamacare enrollees had previously had insurance was a common one among Republicans earlier this year, many of whom charged that most of the enrollees were simply replacing an old plan. But the Kaiser poll is one of the most thorough attempts yet to gauge whether the law had significantly cut into America’s uninsured ranks.

Those with Obamacare-compliant coverage also generally like their coverage and view it as a good value, according to the Kaiser poll: 71 percent said it was excellent or good coverage and 55 percent said that it was an excellent or good value.

The poll did raise some questions about long-term affordability: 43 percent of those with Obamacare plans said it was very or somewhat difficult to pay their monthly premiums. More than 60 percent of all those surveyed, including those with non-compliant plans, said they were very or somewhat worried that their premiums would go up so much that they wouldn’t be able to afford to keep their coverage.

And how do those previously uninsured enrollees feel about Obamacare? 53 percent said they had a very or somewhat favorable opinion of the law.

The survey, conducted from April 3 to May 11, covered 742 U.S. adults who purchase their own insurance. Among marketplace enrollees, the margin-of-error is 6 percentage points.