By Elise Viebeck - 10/10/13 01:30 PM EDT
Millions of people have visited ObamaCare's online enrollment portals, but only about 1 in 10 reported success in using them to buy health insurance, according to a new poll.
This figure could mean that more than 20 million people have tried to access the new insurance marketplaces, which would be welcome news to the Obama administration.
But few users had positive experiences navigating the sites. Three of four said they encountered problems, and fewer than 10 percent were able to actually purchase health insurance, the poll found.
The survey confirms that technical issues are confounding users interested in health plans on the exchanges and working against a flood of interest in the new system.
The marketplaces, including the federally facilitated exchanges accessed through healthcare.gov, debuted Oct. 1 with significant problems.
Users ran into error messages, nonsense text and had difficulty confirming and modifying their accounts. Pages took many hours to load, leading some people to abandon the process altogether, or seek separate avenues for enrollment.
Federal health officials say they are working around the clock to correct the problems. Page load times have markedly improved, and more users are able to move through the process with more ease.
The White House has not reported how many people have signed up for coverage on the marketplaces despite repeated inquiries. Enrollment figures will be released monthly, officials said.
Opinions are mixed about the launch of the exchanges, the AP-GfK poll found. Forty percent said the rollout did not go well, 20 percent said it went somewhat well and 30 percent did not know.
Overall, people remain divided in their opinions of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into full effect next year, according to the survey.
A full 68 percent said the government should not be allowed to require all people to purchase health insurance, as the law does. Three in 10 said the government should be able to impose the requirement.
In all, 28 percent support the law, 38 percent oppose it, and 32 percent don't have an opinion, the poll found.
The survey was conducted Oct. 3-7 and involved 1,227 interviews. It has a margin of error of 3.4 percent overall, and 13.5 percent among those who tried to use the marketplaces.