DSS has conducted a number of studies with consumers and employers that simulate purchasing health insurance through an exchange or competitive market. Whether currently insured or not, consumers consistently find health insurance coverage that is acceptable to themselves and their families. The financial risk of being uninsured is more than enough incentive for most consumers to select some type of coverage, even if the best available option fails to meet all their ideal requirements.
Even uninsured consumers are interested in purchasing health insurance in an exchange rather than remaining uninsured. Adverse selection is a much greater concern than lack of interest among the uninsured. Many uninsured consumers are likely to jump at the opportunity to purchase affordable coverage without having to go through medical underwriting, regardless of the level of subsidies received from the Federal government or other sources.
Employers are less certain whether they will continue offering coverage under health reform. Many small and large employers will seriously consider dropping coverage and paying the federal penalty if the available alternatives are not attractive. Most employers want to continue offering health insurance benefits to their employees, but they are not blindly committed to doing so.