The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act seems to be driving Web-based health insurance shopping overall, especially when it comes to older, sicker consumers.
Analysts at All Web Leads came to that conclusion after looking at the traffic flowing through its own insurance quote sites.
All Web Leads sites generate leads for non-exchange products, not public exchange plans.
Analysts at the firm aren’t releasing any of the underlying totals.
But analysts said the firm’s overall health quote search volume was 134 percent higher during the first week after the Oct. 1 open enrollment start date than the first week of September.
The spike in quote site activity shows publicity surrounding the exchange launch is boosting interest in all kinds of health products, not just public exchange plans, firm analysts said.
PPACA requires carriers selling any individual policies from now through March 31 – either inside or outside the exchanges – to do so on a guaranteed-issue basis. Age is the only health factor issuers can use to adjust individual rates.
The All Web Leads analysts see PPACA getting the attention of all types of consumers, but especially of uninsured consumers, older consumers and those with health problems.
Since open enrollment began, uninsured have accounted for 79 percent health lead volume, up from 76 percent a year earlier, the analysts said.
The number of leads coming from consumers ages 18 to 34 grew 50 percent, but the percentage coming from consumers ages 45 to 64 jumped 132 percent.
The percentage of leads coming from consumers who report having major pre-existing health problems increased to 4.2 percent, from 3.1 percent.