Selecting health insurance is difficult (even for engaged consumers)

In a recent study, 70% of consumers surveyed said that it is more difficult to choose health insurance than it is to choose auto insurance.  The distribution of responses is:

  • 39% say selecting a health plan is much more difficult
  • 31% say selecting a health plan is somewhat more difficult
  • 26% say they are about the same
  • 3% say selecting auto insurance is somewhat more difficult
  • 1% say selecting auto insurance is much more difficult

Excluding the 14% of Disengaged consumers who are unable to address the question, the opinions of the most Engaged and the Disengaged consumers are very similar regarding the difficulty in selecting health insurance compared to auto insurance.  Just under 73% of Engaged consumers say health insurance is somewhat or much more difficult to select compared to 71% of Disengaged consumers who gave the same responses.  

However, older consumers are signficantly more likely than younger adults to say selecting health insurance is more difficult (78% for 65 to 79 year olds vs. 66% for 18 to 30 year olds).  Outside of age differences, there is a consensus of opinion on this issue with no other demographic groups differing significantly on this question.

Consumers are willing to face these difficult decisions

Fortunately, the task of selecting health insurance is not so daunting that consumers try to avoid it altogether.  Over two-thirds of conumers said they would prefer to review all available options each year and consider changing health plans if a better deal is found instead of taking the easy way and just renewing the same plan each year as long as there is not a big jump in monthly premiums.  The oldest (62%) and youngest (60%) consumers are least likely to say they would review health plan options every year if given the chance.

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