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"Affordable Care Act changed the health insurance for consumers who buy their own coverage"
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health insurance research

The changing needs of health insurance buyers

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 triggered many changes in individual health insurance. No longer do consumers need to worry about being eligible for coverage. Affordability and gaps in coverage are now the primary concerns of insurance shoppers. These results come from OnlineAdviser, a free service that has addressed more than 60,000 consumer inquiries since 1997.

by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT, NAHU certified consumer driven health care consultant, originally published 11/10/2011, revised 10/11/2012

Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the most common health insurance concern of consumers was finding affordable coverage. As many as one in three were not eligible for the most attractive insurance options. Between the years of 1997 and 2010, OnlineAdviser estimates that more than 6,000 consumers requested individual assistance because they could not find a plan that was available to them. This year the number dropped to less than 200 such requests.

The number of consumer requests for assistance dipped during the period of debate (2009 and early 2010) over health reform and then increased to the highest levels ever, the reasons that consumers request assistance are very different. The expansion of low priced quarantined issue mini-med plans means that consumers are no longer focused solely on finding coverage, but rather that they might not like what they find.

Over the past year we found a decrease in the number of people reporting:

During the same period we found an increase in the number of people reporting:

One notable factor remained unchanged. The portion of Web surfers looking for more affordable insurance remained strong throughout the entire period and was unaffected by the reform law. It appears that the primary focus of insurance shoppers on the web is to find cheaper coverage. While we stress to users that lower price always means lower level of benefits in the long run, consumers continue to prove to us that price is the key driver to health insurance enrollment.

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This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.