Despite increased traffic to health exchange websites, more than half (59%) of uninsured Americans say their experience with them was negative, compared to just 39% who report a positive experience, according to the latest Gallup tracking poll.

This December survey shows a slight improvement over November, when 63% reported a negative experience compared to 33% reporting a positive one.

Conducted Dec. 1-29, the survey came after the date the Obama administration had promised the federal exchange would work for “the vast majority of users.” Gallup polled more than 1,500 uninsured Americans — 450 of whom visited an exchange (26%). Of those 450, 24% say they went to the federal exchange, 20% to a state exchange, 17% to both and 37% were unsure.

Gallup notes that since this survey covers interviews across the entire month, it could slightly underestimate the actual percentage of uninsured Americans who have visited an exchange site if proportionately more visited near the end of the month to meet the deadline for having insurance coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014.

In late December, HHS said that more 1.6 million Americans signed up through state and federal exchanges in December alone — more than quadruple the first two months of the government’s sign-up period.

“The fact that most uninsured Americans who have visited the exchanges report a negative experience is problematic, particularly given the Obama administration's efforts to improve the federal sites,” Gallup says. “If uninsured Americans continue to have bad experiences with the exchanges, it could hinder the Obama administration's goal to insure as many Americans as possible.”


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