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Health Insurance Benchmark Study Overview

Health insurance companies need to understand their changing market landscape in order to prepare for a time when the population has greater choice under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and providers are forced to compete for members.
And there are certain fundamental questions that face a company when competing for these customers

  • How do they perceive me now, and how do they perceive my competitors?  Who has the better image?
  • What are my perceived strengths and weaknesses, and what are my competitors’?
  • How satisfied are my members with us and how satisfied are competitors’ members with the competitor?  How vulnerable are my members to getting picked off by a competitor and how easily can I grab my competitors’ members?
  • How likely are they to consider changing their health insurer? Who would they consider? 
  • Are they open to the newly emerging sales channels, i.e., Walmart, Walgreens etc.?

We wanted to give health insurers a peek at these attitudes and did so by conducting a research study at the national level to provide a benchmark against which health insurers may measure results from their own research. 

In our research study, respondents were adults in the United States with current health insurance. Some of the data was provided in February’s infographic, but we wanted to dig a little deeper and share more of the insights that came out of the research.

Major takeaway 1: Prepare for churn.

Although many are satisfied with their health insurer provider, a large number are not. Across our national sample, top three box scores (T3B) for satisfaction of their provider ranged from 57 percent up to 73 percent. 

Consider the results when respondents were asked: Overall, how satisfied are you with [provider name]?

Health insurance provider satisfaction rankingFurther, as mentioned in our infographic, the research shows that between 15 percent and 20 percent of the health insured say they will actively think about switching to another insurer and could churn, when given the chance.

Bottom line: A sizable chunk of every health insurer’s membership is at risk of leaving.

Major takeaway 2: Which insurers have the edge?

The insurers who have the strongest awareness will be first in line to attract the switchers. That helps BCBS associations across the country as well as Aetna. 

But other insurers have a good starting point, too.

Health insurance aided awareness

But the market is wary about their choices, not showing a great deal of confidence in providers outside the one they use.

Health insurance ratings

Bottom line:  Although BCBS leads in mindshare there are several competitors with a commanding presence and are able to compete for new members.

Major takeaway 3: Old health insurers will find themselves competing with new channels.

One result of the market’s lukewarm feelings toward the old-line insurers is the consumers’ openness to buying insurance from non-traditional sources such as drug store chains and the big box stores.

Where consumers will buy health insurance in an open market

Bottom line: The post ACA world is shaping up to be very competitive, with a great deal of churn, a new line-up of insurers, and a host of new consumer expectations to be met. 

Affordable Care Act strategies