Number of Workers Switching Health Plans Decreasing
Jan. 31 — One out of eight people younger than 65 switched health plans to reduce health insurance costs or gain a higher-quality plan in 2010, down from one out of six people in 2008, according to a recent study.
The study, conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change on behalf of the National Institute for Health Care Reform, found that the proportion of people who changed employer-sponsored health insurance plans for reasons other than a job change fell from 12 percent in 2003 to 7.5 percent in 2010.
Of those who changed plans in 2010 for reasons other than a job change, most switched plans because of a change in their employers’ benefit offerings (62.7 percent). Others changed plans to obtain a less expensive plan or a higher-quality plan. Among all nonelderly people with employer coverage, 2.3 percent changed plans in 2010 in search of better quality or lower costs.
According to the Center for Studying Health System Change, the findings suggest that consumer choice plays a relatively small role in employees’ decisions to switch health plans, with most changes resulting from job changes or changes in employers’ plan offerings.
Read the study.
Publication Date: Thursday, January 31, 2013