Will They Come?
Consumers and health insurance exchanges: Awareness, preferences, and concerns
As health insurance exchanges (HIX) prepare to launch in fall 2013, the health care industry is intently awaiting the answer to an all-important question: Will they come?
State and federally facilitated exchanges, along with participating health plans, are in full planning mode, preparing to register millions of new enrollees. But they are doing so amid uncertainty around whether eligible individuals will take advantage of these new opportunities for insurance coverage.
The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions’ February 2013 survey of consumers reveals a lack of awareness around HIX purchasing options and details, particularly among groups targeted by Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions. The survey explores consumers’ preferences around purchasing insurance, their uncertainty about where to find value and their concerns about buying health insurance through an exchange.
Among key findings:
- Overall, nearly eight in 10 are aware that the federal government will require most individuals to maintain health insurance starting in 2014.
- Seven in 10 of all consumers surveyed are aware of the establishment of insurance exchanges and six in 10 are aware of increased access via expanding Medicaid programs.
- Only half of all consumers surveyed are aware of the availability of tax credits to help individuals and families purchase health insurance coverage.
- Four in five uninsured consumers indicate low to mixed interest in purchasing insurance through an exchange; only one in five says they would be likely to participate.
- Among the 82 percent of uninsured respondents who say they are “not likely” or “mixed” about trying exchanges, key reasons include lack of information and worry about cost.
Significant opportunities exist for industry stakeholders to engage potential HIX enrollees, yet work is needed to provide consumers with sufficient information to convert interest into enrollment. Strategies to educate consumers and to address their specific concerns and preferences, may go a long way towards answering the question, Will they come?
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