Consumers are looking forward to health insurance exchanges. Thirty-seven percent of the respondents indicated HIX will make it easier to find and purchase a competitive health insurance plan. Health plans considering skipping HIX may want to reconsider. Thirty-four percent of consumers said they would have a less favorable impression of a health insurance company that decided not to participate in their state's health insurance exchange.
Consumers want to "friend" you. About one-third of survey respondents have used social media channels for healthcare purposes, such as connecting with health organizations and other people with shared health interests. Facebook (18%) and YouTube (12%) are the most popular social media venues. Health plans are employing social media to let their members know about plan benefits, personal health, and wellness goals, among other uses. Healthcare organizations are experimenting with building stronger connections and communities through social media, a trend expected to continue in 2012.