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The first in a series of new surveys from the Kaiser Family Foundation of people who buy their own health insurance provides new data about the experiences and perceptions of a group that has been the subject of much conjecture and political debate. The survey found that nearly six in 10 people (57 percent) who purchased health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s new marketplaces (or exchanges) had been uninsured just prior to obtaining coverage. Most of this group say they had been without coverage for at least two years, and seven in 10 (72 percent) say they decided to buy their own health insurance because of the ACA. The law provides income-based premium subsidies to people who buy coverage through the exchanges. 

“There has been considerable debate about how many people signing up for coverage in the new exchanges were uninsured. Our survey reveals that the majority of people who enrolled in the new exchanges were previously uninsured,” Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Drew Altman said.

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