– Access, costs and variety of plans remain top drivers for health plan consumers – – Individual Marketplace Open Enrollment Period ends Jan. 16, 2024 –
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. (January 11, 2024) – In Florida, the state that consistently leads the nation in enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace (sometimes called Obamacare or Affordable Care Act), new research is revealing what drives consumers when shopping for health insurance. According to the new Florida Blue Shopping and Communications Study, which surveyed more than 400 Floridians to better understand the support consumers need when selecting a health insurance plan, almost half (49 percent) of respondents felt the overall shopping process needs to be easier. The top three factors individuals wished they understood better were the benefits covered by the health plan (56%), cost for care when seeing a doctor (41%) and the differences in the types of plans offered (40%).
The major reasons for shopping centered around access, costs, and overall consumer curiosity. 39% shopped for new plan because their doctor no longer accepted their health plan, 34% because of an increase in their monthly premium payment, and 32% to see what new plans and benefits might be available.
The annual Florida Blue Shopping and Communication Study, conducted by a third-party vendor, took place toward the end of 2023 which is the busiest season of the year for health coverage enrollment.
Additional Consumer Insights Include:
- Nearly half (46 percent) talk with family or friends for shopping support.
- Over a third (35 percent) were not sure where to go for help choosing a plan.
- Thirty-seven percent stated they didn’t know how to determine the health coverage best for them.
- More than half (57 percent) spent less than a week looking for and comparing health insurance plans. Thirty-four percent spent two days or less.
- Almost half (46 percent) of respondents would shop for a new plan if the cost increased by less than $30 per month.
The Survey Also Found That:
- Sixty-five percent of respondents said discounts on health services, programs, and products were very or extremely important.
- Fifty-two percent of people ranked rewards programs as very or extremely important.
- Forty-nine percent ranked a benefit like an allowance to buy food as very or extremely important.
“Consumers want simpler information about health insurance and what may be the best fit for them,” said Phil Lee, Florida Blue Vice President – Special Markets. It’s critical to provide individuals and communities with easier-to-understand personalized information about affordable, high-quality health care solutions and we’re helping support them through every step of their shopping experience.”
“Right now, people are feeling the pinch of the economy. These results show consumers are looking for extra ways to save money, and extra benefits and services are a major consideration when looking for a plan,” Lee said. “While rewards and other perks bring extra value, it’s important to make sure that first and foremost, you start with a plan that best meets your needs. We’re proud to be advocates to make sure individuals in Florida, both for the Marketplace and Medicare Advantage plans, have access to affordable health insurance plans that best meets their health and mental well-being needs, and include extra-value services that help their wallet.”
Consumers Still Have Time.
While Medicare’s Annual Election Period ended on Dec. 7, 2023, individuals enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) or Medicare drug plan (Part D) plan may be able to join, switch, or drop an MA plan or Medicare drug plan (Part D) during certain time periods.
And for those under 65, Open Enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace is still underway for a few more days. Individuals who enroll before Jan. 16, 2024 can get coverage that starts on Feb.1, 2024.
While finding the right health plan can be a challenge, there are thousands of licensed health insurance agents and navigators across the state who will charge nothing for their expert guidance. Agents and navigators can help consumers determine which health insurance plan is right for them and their family, help enroll them in a plan and help them see if they qualify for financial help to lower the cost of their plan premium.
For additional information, contact a local Florida Blue agent, visit a Florida Blue Center or visit www.FloridaBlue.com
About Florida Blue – Florida Blue has been providing health solutions to residents of Florida for nearly 80 years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than five million members and all 67 Florida counties. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., with nearly 8,900 employees, it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. For additional information visit www.FloridaBlue.com. For the latest news and content, visit the Florida Blue Newsroom, and follow Florida Blue on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram @Florida.Blue; and X (formerly Twitter) @FLBlue.