Millions of U.S. residents are supposed to pour into new health insurance distribution exchanges in 2014, but only 3% say they are very or extremely familiar with the exchange concept.

Researchers at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), Washington, have included that bit of data in an analysis based on a telephone survey of 1,001 U.S. residents ages 21 and older.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) calls for state and federal officials to work together to set up a system of health insurance exchanges that will give individuals a way to use new tax credits to buy health coverage.

About 62% of the survey participants said they are not at all familiar with the health insurance exchanges, and 34% said they were somewhat familiar with the exchanges or not too familiar with them, the researchers say.

- Allison Bell

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