Insurers are experimenting to find out what to offer in the exchanges. Answer: the healthy buy on price; the sick want full coverage and access to a full range of providers.
Blue Cross found the monthly premium was the most important thing for 48% of people, and one of the most important things for another 26%. It dwarfed other factors like prescription-drug coverage and copayments for doctor visits.
Forty-one percent of the Rhode Island consumers said they would sacrifice a broad choice of doctors and hospitals in order to save money, even if their own doctor might not be in the plan’s network. Overall, Blue Cross plans were chosen by nearly 60%.
The research is shaping Blue Cross’s decisions. The company is initially selling a “tiered” plan that requires consumers to pay more to see certain health-care providers, and next year it will roll out a new design with a smaller network, both approaches that can hold costs down.
The insurer also isn’t offering any platinum plans to consumers, partly because the simulation showed they tended to draw people with significant health needs, a particular concern if it’s the only competitor with a platinum product. (WSJ)