More consumers want to pick their health insurer

By BenefitsPro


By Kathryn Mayer

Consumers want more of a hand in making decisions about their health insurance.

That news comes from a health insurance survey from HealthPocket, which discovered that consumers’ desire for more choice includes choosing their own provider.

The majority (65 percent) of working Americans said they would like to be able to choose their health insurance company for themselves, while just 22 percent preferred their employer be in charge. An additional 38 percent said they either were not working or their employer didn’t offer insurance.

The information is important as the health plan market shifts from primarily group-focused to individually focused. That’s mostly due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires every state to open a public exchange where consumers can shop for a plan that best suits their needs. With exchanges set to open in October, some insurance experts predict that employer-sponsored health coverage won’t be as widely available as it is now.

HealthPocket CEO Bruce Telkamp said the “stage is set” under PPACA for a decline in employer-sponsored health insurance and a rise in individually purchased coverage.

And for consumers who want more personal choice, that shift may suit them just fine.

“For those workers who will migrate from employer-sponsored to individually purchased health insurance, they’ll get the control they desire,” Telkamp said.

According to Gallup, employer-sponsored health coverage is at an all-time low.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com