Poll: 80% of uninsured know about individual mandate

More uninsured consumers are aware of the healthcare reform law's individual mandate, but they still don't know about the health insurance exchange, which is where they would most likely buy a health plan, according to a new Gallup poll.

Gallup found 80 percent of uninsured consumers say they're aware the reform law requires they obtain insurance or pay a fine. That's an increase from 73 percent earlier this month and 56 percent during the summer. And 67 percent of those consumers say they plan to buy insurance, whereas only 25 percent intend to pay the fine.

The poll also showed, however, uninsured consumers aren't any more aware of the health insurance exchanges than when they opened for enrollment a month ago. Almost 70 percent said they're unfamiliar with the online marketplaces and only 27 percent are very or somewhat familiar.

Meanwhile, a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey found the American public continues to oppose defunding the healthcare reform law and wants Congress to expand or keep the law as is rather than repeal it.

Even though the media has widely reported on the technical challenges facing the online marketplaces, the public's opinion of the reform law has held relatively steady since the exchanges opened, with 44 percent holding an unfavorable opinion of the law, 38 percent having a favorable opinion and 18 percent having no opinion.

The Kaiser survey also showed more consumers have seen healthcare reform-related ads, including outreach with information about obtaining insurance coverage. It found 59 percent of the public saw an ad or commercial about the law in October, an increase from 43 percent in September.

These surveys follow a poll earlier this week from Bankrate.com, which found 47 percent of uninsured Americans don't know where to get information on healthcare, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the Gallup poll
- check out the Kaiser survey