Payers Detail Strategies That Drive Consumer Satisfaction

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media , March 13, 2014

A study of health plan members reflects the impact of healthcare reform efforts and contains at least one surprising result, says the director of J.D. Power's healthcare practice.

J.D. Power and Associates' annual consumer survey of health plan members released this week provides insight about changes in the broad health insurance marketplace and gives a glimpse of how consumers are faring as their role in several markets grows.

The 2014 J.D. Power consumer study is based on data collected in December and January. It reflects the impact of healthcare reform efforts under way nationwide, with at least one surprising result, said Rick Millard, director of J.D. Power's healthcare practice.

"The popular sentiment is that more people are going to change their health plans," he said, noting the latest consumer study found the opposite, with 63 percent of consumer respondents reporting they changed health plans in the 2013 study but only 51 percent changing health plans in the 2014 study.

While more analysis is needed to determine the reasons behind the unexpected stability in health plan memberships, Millard said the apocalyptic predictions about the impact of the PPACA appear to have been overstated, at least for 2014.

See Also: Health Plans Face Under-Informed Consumers

"Oftentimes, we want to take the facts and fit a frame," he said. "Some people said the reforms would be catastrophic and people are going to be pushed out of their plans. We didn't see that."

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