Cost Trumps Quality When Choosing Health Plans

May 31, 2013 ( - When it comes to obtaining health insurance, consumers polled say low costs trump quality.

A survey by HealthPocket asked respondents, “If health insurance plans in your area all offered the same benefits, which of the following factors would determine your plan choice?” Only one in 10 people answered that consumer satisfaction and quality of the plan would be their top consideration.  

Nearly one in three respondents (32%) said a low monthly premium would be the deciding factor. Survey respondents also cited “plan acceptance by my doctors,” (22%); “a brand I know and trust,” (19%); and “my exposure to out-of-pocket costs,” (17%).  

HealthPocket noted that one of the ways the Affordable Care Act will transform health insurance shopping is by standardizing much of the benefits offered among health plans. “This standardization will increase the importance of quality comparisons in the purchase decision process since benefit differences will decrease,” the company said.  

The InfoPoll survey of 900 people was conducted between May 22 and May 24, 2013.