Employees Downgrade Their Plans on Private Exchanges

One-in-four people who enrolled online through a private insurance exchange selected lower coverage levels than what their previous plan offered in order to reduce premiums. Fifty-seven percent of those who choose lower-priced health plans will buy ancillary benefits, such as vision coverage or even pet insurance, using their allocated leftover funds.

Rich Birhanzel, managing director, Accenture Health Administrative Services said, “To make more informed decisions, consumers need a better understanding of the complex tradeoff decisions that are part of the enrollment process, such as weighing individual medical risks against personal financial circumstances. Without that knowledge, consumers will be more likely to face higher costs that could potentially arise from unexpected incidents and treatment needs.”

While employees are willing to make some tradeoffs in return for lower premiums, it depends on the availability of other options. For example, 81% of employees are willing to increase their deductible to save $50 a month on their premiums. But, only 25% are willing to accept more than a $600 deductible increase to save $600 in annual premiums, according to an Accenture survey of more than 2,000 consumers.

The rapid emergence of private insurance exchanges will expand benefit choices and fuel the purchasing of ancillary benefits through a new pool of discretionary premium dollars. Accenture expects these private exchanges to grow to 40 million enrollees by 2018. The new pool of discretionary premium dollars is expected to grow to $4 billion by 2018. For more information, visit www.accenture.com

Last Updated 01/11/2022

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