Tech companies are developing the infrastructure for Web-based health insurance exchanges, but 46 percent of people are unsure if they would use them, according to a new study.
While technology companies are renewing their
efforts to develop the infrastructure to create health insurance exchanges following
the Supreme Court's decision upholding "Obamacare
the public is split on whether they would use HIXes, according to a study by
Only 29 percent of the public would consider
using the exchanges, according to the Harris survey, which was commissioned by
Of the respondents, 46 percent were unsure if
they would use health insurance exchanges if required to purchase health
insurance, according to the study. Meanwhile, 25 percent said they would avoid
using an exchange and 29 percent said they were interested in using them.
Even as members of Congress try to repeal the
law, health care IT experts expect IT vendors to accelerate HIX development
following the Supreme
Court's 5-4 decision
to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act (ACA) on June 28.
ACA requires states to implement an HIX in
time for open enrollment in October 2013 and effective coverage in January
Harris Interactive conducted the survey from
June 29 to July 3 and interviewed 2,088 adults, ages 18 and older, on their
views on the ACA and insurance exchanges. Xerox released the results on July
Xerox remains committed to developing a
software as a service (SaaS) cloud platform, according to Mary Scanlon, senior
vice president for government health care solutions.
"Consumers are split when asked if they
would take advantage of an exchange, so there is opportunity to educate
consumers and to work with the states on programs to introduce the exchange and
the benefits of the technology," Scanlon told eWEEK
in an email.
The Supreme Court ruled that the individual
mandate requiring citizens to purchase health insurance was constitutional
because it acts as a tax. Of respondents interviewed, 35 percent believed this
mandate infringed on their rights and 32 percent believed the requirement would
lower health care costs for citizens and the government.
To get consumers to select, enroll and
purchase health insurance through an exchange, the Web services will have to be
easy to use like Travelocity and Expedia are used to compare prices for airlines
and hotels, Scanlon suggested.
"An exchange will create an
'Expedia-like' experience for individuals and small businesses with a
state-sponsored Web portal to compare and shop for health plans," Will
Saunders, Xerox's group president for government health care solutions, wrote
in a blog
"And Web usability, the expertise to
ensure each visitor to the exchange has a good experience, will become an
important competency and success factor," said Scanlon.
Investment in personalization tools as well
as outreach to consumers will be key, according to Scanlon. "It will be
important to keep consumers engaged and connected to the exchange and to
continue to drive adoption to the exchange and its services," said
Scanlon. "Outreach programs and the technology to support these
programs connect the technology to the consumer experience."
Xerox announced an initiative in Florida on
June 26 in which it would offer its cloud-based Web portal to Florida Health
Choices, an organization working to improve access to health care in the state.
Up to 33 million more Americans will purchase
health insurance by 2021, according to consulting firm PwC.
"Despite the political uncertainty,
private-sector initiatives, accentuated and accelerated by the health
reform law, are moving forward," Kelly Barnes, leader of PwC's U.S.
health industries practice, said in a statement. "The pressure for
innovative ways to provide higher quality, more affordable health care