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Three-quarters of uninsured still don't know when Obamacare exchanges open, Kaiser poll says

Just days before health insurance exchanges will open under Obamacare, three-quarters of the people who might most benefit from them – the uninsured – don’t know when they can begin shopping for coverage, according to a poll released Saturday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But the uninsured aren’t the only ones in the dark: Two-thirds of all respondents didn’t know that the exchanges open on Tuesday.

The poll also found that half of all respondents still say they don’t have enough information about the 2010 Affordable Care Act to understand how it will affect their families, with many unsure about how much coverage will cost, how they’ll pay for it or even how the law works.

The health insurance exchanges are one of the main components of the act, known as Obamacare. They’re designed to be an online marketplace where people and small businesses can compare different insurance plans available in their states, choose a level of coverage, and find out if they are eligible for federal government subsidies to pay the premiums.

A majority (56 percent) of respondents in the Kaiser poll also said news coverage of the law was focused on politics and controversy instead of practical information, and more people said they had seen ads against the law (31 percent) or in favor of it (24 percent) than ads providing information on how to get coverage (17 percent).

There continued to be a slightly negative view of Obamacare – 43 percent unfavorable vs. 39 percent favorable – with a sharp divide between Democrats (67 percent favorable) and Republicans (34 percent). The poll said that Democrats viewing the act favorably had risen by 8 percentage points in September.