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Despite Repeal of Health Insurance Penalty Mandate, Interest in Coverage Remains

Lehi, Utah – September 27, 2018 “The Demand for Individual Healthcare Coverage,” a health insurance coverage poll recently completed by MaritzCX, explored consumer demand and decision purchase factors related to individual healthcare coverage.  Enrollment in Affordable Care Act (ACA) Qualified Health Plans reached 11.8 million*1 last year even though the enrollment period was cut in half.

Among study findings, 47% of consumers are unaware of a recent change removing the mandate and subsequent penalty for not having individual healthcare coverage.  Even more (57%) are unaware of the specifics of this change.  Both of which imply many will keep their coverage regardless of the change in requirement.  In fact, the MaritzCX poll found that one-in-five consumers (~20%) are interested in an individual health care policy, following the rule changes.

Still, the repeal of the penalty means there are many who may consider discontinuing their coverage or may be seeking new coverage options such as small-group market plans.

MaritzCX study managers say the challenge now for insurers is defining and understanding their target so they can be efficient in sales efforts. Clearly, the primary target should still be those who have traditionally purchased individual coverage in the past i.e., households at the poverty threshold income level (~$19,000) *2. Insurers should also target those who:

  • Are self-employed or small business owners and
  • Have household incomes of over $75,000

By MaritzCX’ estimates, this group could represent 9.9*3 million potential policyholders.

Additionally, MaritzCX research found that 69% of consumers who owned two specific supplemental policies (umbrella and valuables) expressed the highest interest in individual coverage compared to just 47% of policyholders with other combinations of supplemental products.

Another group worth targeting are individuals who self-report good or excellent health.  According to the results from the MaritzCX poll, these consumers see the benefit of staying healthy and realize that maintaining this requires medical coverage.  Almost half (48%) of all healthy consumers expressed high interest in having individual coverage compared to only about a third (35%) of consumers who self-reported poor or fair health.

Consumers shopping for a policy consider recommendations of friends and family (24%) and the Internet (26%) as the two most trusted sources in their decision making. MaritzCX study managers said insurance providers are wise to target their marketing accordingly.

“Factors like reduced broker compensation for writing ACA compliant policies and the evolution of short-term plans and health care sharing ministries will have an impact on coverage enrollment, but there are levers insurers can pull to tap into this market.  It’s really a matter of whether insurers are set-up to efficiently target potential customers,” said Brian O’Connor, client success director, MaritzCX.

Survey methodology: MaritzCX, partnering with ResearchNow, an online sample company, surveyed 605 people who either shopped for or have had individual health care coverage in the past 15 months.

About MaritzCX

MaritzCX is customer experience (CX) management for big business. High-value CX programs are critical for every organization. We combine CX software, data and research science, deep vertical market expertise, and managed program services to help accelerate client success. CX programs that are most impactful drive the right kind of actions throughout the company and support a strong business case. MaritzCX seeks to partner with companies that insist on effective and high-ROI CX. Our customers include global brands from the Automotive, Financial Services, Travel & Hospitality, Consumer Technology, Telecom, Retail, B2B, Energy and Utilities industries.

About ResearchNow

Research Now has built a reputation on nurturing long-lasting relationships with clients and panelists for over a decade. They are the world’s leading digital data collection company, uniquely positioned to be a single-source solution for any and all research projects sample needs. Their team takes great pride in defining and shaping the future of the research industry.

Media Contact:

Stephanie Miller, Penna Powers for MaritzCX, C: 801-209-8634, smiller@pennapowers.com

MaritzCX