Consumers are getting more comfortable with researching and shopping for health insurance online, says a new survey from healthcare exchange company Connecture Inc.
The survey of 8,000 consumers, supplemented with customer survey data from Connecture’s database of coverage bought before and during Obamacare, finds that between 2012 and 2017, the number of Americans who have shopped online for health insurance increased threefold, from 14% in 2012 to 42% in 2017.
“Despite uncertainty around health reform legislation and the confusion most people face when navigating the healthcare system in general, we’re seeing the steady growth in the number of Americans using technology to get the health coverage they need,” says Connecture CEO Jeff Surges.
Other survey findings include:
- Consumers prefer self-service options. In 2017, 56% of consumers say they were comfortable shopping for health insurance by themselves ‘with little or no assistance’ from friends, family and others, compared with 37% in 2012.
- Employer-sponsored coverage reaches new milestones. Four times as many consumers in the workforce are leveraging online tools to shop for group or employer-sponsored insurance (38% in 2017 versus 9.5% in 2012). More workers also like their benefit options offered by their employers, with 34% feeling “extremely satisfied” in 2017 compared with 22% in 2012.
- Consumers still rushing their insurance decisions. Of those with employer-sponsored insurance, 59% of consumers indicated they would spend “no more than 1 hour” to research and choose their health plan, a short amount of time given the long-term implications this type of decision can have for an individual and their family, Connecture says.
- Consumers are price shopping. While almost 50% of consumers say, they are “not sure” what they pay in healthcare costs each month, 80% note they would be willing to talk to their doctors about prescription drug and therapeutic alternatives to save money.