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Interest in health insurance exchanges grows

More say they would shop for coverage through a health insurance exchange


More people looking to buy health insurance say they would shop for coverage through a health insurance exchange if they had the opportunity, according to a J.D. Power and Associates health plan study.

A majority of health plan members who purchase insurance on their own say they would likely use one of the state health insurance exchanges (55 percent), while 39 percent of those covered under an employer-sponsored program indicate they would shop for insurance through an exchange if it were available.

And more, the study finds there’s an increased level of interest in state-sponsored health insurance exchanges compared to last year. In 2012, 37 percent of health plan members say they wouldn’t likely use an exchange, compared with 50 percent in 2011 who expected to continue obtaining coverage at work.

The level of interest among those who obtain health insurance through work is an important implication for the future of employer-sponsored care, says Rick Millard, senior director of the health care practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

The study also finds substantial interest among health plan members in private health insurance exchanges, in which an employer might provide employees with vouchers for purchasing health insurance independently. Roughly 41 percent of employer-insured health plan members indicate they would use this approach if it were available.