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Mandate awareness shaky

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Americans without health insurance might be more aware of the exchanges than they were a few weeks ago but remain clueless about the penalties they might face for failing to get coverage.

Frank Newport, a Gallup analyst, published data on the views of the uninsured in a summary of results from a telephone survey of adults without coverage.

Exchange awareness has improved steadily, with about 31 percent of uninsured saying they’re very or somewhat familiar with the exchanges, up from 25 percent in late September.

Awareness of the individual mandate penalty climbed steady from June through late October – to 80 percent, from 56 percent – but then started to edge back down.

Despite all of the controversy about the enrollment problems, awareness of the individual “shared responsibility” penalty had fallen to 77 percent by Nov. 17.

About two-thirds of the uninsured said they’ve gotten or hope to get health coverage next year. 

About half of the uninsured who want to have coverage in 2014 have gotten it or hope to get it through the exchanges, and about one-third plan have gotten or plan to get coverage elsewhere.

The margin of error for the poll is large – 5 percentage points.

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