Consumer Awareness of Health Benefits Insurance Plans Greater than All Other Obamacare Alternatives Combined
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA–(Marketwired – Jul 18, 2017) – With the government’s announcement that there are 38 percent fewer health plan rate filings for the 2018 Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges, many consumers across the nation will be faced with fewer or, in some counties, no ACA insurance choices this coming open enrollment period.
Fewer exchange choices may worsen consumers’ ability to find health insurance that combines an affordable monthly premium with a manageable deductible.
Since this situation is expected to lead some private health insurance buyers to explore alternative health coverage that either replaces ACA as primary coverage or combines with an ACA plan to lower out-of-pocket costs, AgileHealthInsurance.com conducted a nationwide poll that asked, “What private health insurance (or health coverage) options are you familiar with OTHER than Obamacare?”
A heightened awareness
Respondents could select from the following options displayed in randomized order: short-term health insurance, Healthcare Sharing Ministries coverage, health benefits insurance, or none of the above. Short-term health insurance is limited duration major medical coverage typically used to fill temporary gaps in health insurance coverage.
Healthcare Sharing Ministries plans are not insurance plans but do provide major medical coverage similar to traditional health insurance. Health benefits insurance is a relatively new name for a combination of established insurance products (e.g., hospital, doctor, accident and critical illness) that can offset out-of-pocket costs and lost income by paying a set amount of money when the enrollee experiences covered medical events. Health benefit plans also include additional non-insurance benefits such as telemedicine services and can be used alongside all other forms of health insurance.
Based on the poll results — 17 percent of adults surveyed nationwide indicated they were aware of the health benefits insurance category. This was more than twice the number of survey respondents who were familiar with short-term health insurance (7 percent) and over three times the awareness of Healthcare Sharing Ministries (5 percent). Added together, the combined awareness of Healthcare Sharing Ministries and short-term health insurance still did not equal the awareness of health benefits insurance. The full survey findings as well as the survey methodology can be reviewed at Consumer Awareness of Obamacare Alternatives.
“Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, other than Obamacare plans, there have existed just three categories of private health coverage for individuals — short-term health insurance plans, Healthcare Sharing Ministry plans, and health benefit insurance plans. Each of these three consumer options pre-date the Affordable Care Act by decades, and each option has an important place in the overall private individual health insurance market ecosystem. What we found surprising with this poll was the relatively high consumer awareness of health benefit plans — exceeding the awareness of both short-term health insurance and the ministry plans combined. We believe these poll results are particularly important now given the lack of Obamacare choices that will be available for this year’s open enrollment period (from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15) and our last poll revealing that Americans overwhelmingly want more health plan choices than just Obamacare alone.”
AgileHealthInsurance.com was created to educate people about the benefits of short-term health insurance and provide a fast, online process for purchasing these plans. Short-term health insurance is a flexible and low-cost major medical insurance for individuals without expensive pre-existing health conditions. It is not Obamacare. Short-term health plans offer consumers the flexibility to choose health plans with the benefits that matter most to them and combine these benefits with broad provider networks. Additional information about AgileHealthInsurance can be found at www.AgileHealthInsurance.com.