Consumers Spend Little Time Choosing Health Plans

With open enrollment for 2016 underway, 59% of consumers say they will spend less than 30 minutes selecting a plan, according to an October HealthMine survey. “Consumers are treating an increasingly complex and costly purchase with inertia. With rising out-of-pocket costs, narrowing networks, and growing prevalence of chronic disease, not doing your due diligence on healthcare coverage could be hazardous to your health—and to your pocketbook,” said Bryce Williams, CEO and president of HealthMine.

The most important factors in selecting a health plan are monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. However, 76% of consumers don’t know what they spent in total out-of-pocket on drugs in the past year. And 67% don’t know what they spent out-of-pocket for doctor visits and labs. In addition, 42% don’t understand their total spend on monthly premiums.

Even though 85% of respondents say they have a good idea of needed services in the coming year, 36% find their plan somewhat or very confusing. Of those, 58% are most perplexed about which services are covered by their plan. Another 46% are confused about costs. Twenty-eight percent don’t know how to get the most from their wellness program. Sixty-six percent of consumers don’t plan to make any changes to their health plan in this enrollment period. Forty percent say that there has been no recent change to their plan’s quality and value. Another 35% say their plan is getting better.

Last Updated 08/10/2022

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