Americans ready to try new insurance model, study says

More evidence is piling up that with the advent of healthcare reform, more Americans are willing to test new health insurance models to obtain coverage.

The latest data to support this notion comes from Valence Health in a survey of 550 U.S. adults. Its “U.S. Attitudes Toward Health Insurance and Healthcare Reform” found that more than a third of respondents would try insurance plans offered through hospitals, health systems or state-run Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans, or CO-OPs.

“We may be about to see a major shift in the way Americans choose to buy health insurance,” said Kevin Weinstein, Valence's chief marketing officer. “If only 5 percent of insured Americans actually 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.”

When asked about new insurance options:

  • A third of the respondents said they were “very or somewhat likely to purchase health insurance through their local hospital or health system.”
  • Twenty-three percent thought plans offered through a hospital would be less costly but of higher quality than traditional insurance plans.
  • Thirty-nine percent said provider-sponsored plans “would offer more coordinated care.”
  • Some 43 percent said they were “very likely or somewhat likely to consider switching to the CO-OPs.

When questioned about choosing health insurance:

  • Many (39 percent) showed an aversion to using online insurance exchanges and said they would rather being insured through work.
  • Very few (less than 10 percent) said they'd “accept salary increase or stipends to purchase out of pocket health insurance.”

When asked what they thought overall about Obamacare, a majority were in favor of it, but a majority also believed “insurance rates would rise due to health reform.”

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