Alternate Payers to Compete With Traditional Health Plans

Traditional commercial health plans may soon face increasing competition from alternative payers. More than a third of Americans are open to trying insurance plans offered through hospitals, health systems, or state-run consumer oriented and operated plans (CO-OPs), according to research by Valence Health.

“We may be shifting away from the era where big brand, commercial insurance companies take the largest piece of the pie. Consumers are open and ready to try smaller, local systems, not only because it’s potentially easier on the wallet, but also because they perceive it to be more convenient and may lead to better overall patient healthcare outcomes,” said Kevin Weinstein, Valence Health Chief Marketing Officer.

“If only five percent of insured Americans try new insurance options, that translates to nearly 10 million people who account for more than $20 billion in healthcare spending. Imagine if we start to educate the majority of people who said they were still unsure about their options. We are talking about creating a huge monetary shift in the industry,” he added. The survey reveals the following:

• More than 31% of consumers would be very or somewhat likely to purchase health insurance through their local hospital or health system.
• 23% say hospital-sponsored plans would be less expensive and higher quality than traditional insurance plans, and 39% say provider-sponsored health plans would offer more coordinated care.
•  More than 43% are very or somewhat likely to consider switching to CO-OPs.
•  More than 39% are very unlikely to use online insurance exchanges; the majority prefer insurance through employers.
• Less than 10% are willing to accept salary increases or stipends to purchase out-of-pocket health insurance.
• A majority of respondents are for Obamacare while a majority says insurance rates will rise due to health reform.

Plan benefits and price drive most Americans’ health insurance choices as opposed to physician choice, according to the survey. Coverage for emergency room visits and hospital stays are top priorities while the insurance company’s brand name is the lowest priority. The complete research findings are available at

Last Updated 08/10/2022

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