Consumers are a major driving force in the health insurance industry, but their knowledge of health plan basics is unfortunately lacking. Learn about gaps in consumer knowledge, how their expectations are influencing trends, and some signs that the industry is moving in the right direction in this week's Insider News.
A survey by Policygenius shows how challenging health insurance is for many American consumers to understand. In the survey, gaps in consumer knowledge of basic concepts stand out, for example:
- More than 50% didn’t know what a copayment or deductible was.
- More than 25% avoided health care because they were unsure what their insurance covered.
- Thirteen percent were unsure if they even had health insurance.
- About 87% of people who enroll in an Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan receive a premium tax credit, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), but only about 16% of people who lack health insurance are aware they can get government subsidies.
A CapGemini report says evolving customer expectations are pushing insurers to react swiftly or risk losing market share. One major trend the report envisions is an increasing need for insurers to provide value-added services as price points of their core offerings converge. It says consumers are showing an interest in one-stop platforms to address all their health needs. The report notes smartphones and apps are positioning mobile as a critical service delivery channel. It also predicts an increasing role for chatbots.
An annual report from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) shows an increase in satisfaction with health insurers. With a rating of 74%, carrier satisfaction has risen to its highest score in a decade. Health insurers are also the only category of insurer to see increases in 2019.
Also in the health care category, hospital care fell 5.3% to a score of 72, making it among the worst industries measured. This decline is driven by low consumer rankings for emergency department care.