Individuals have more control over their health insurance than ever before. In addition to the 8 million people already enrolled in public health insurance exchanges, as many as 40 million are expected to purchase coverage through private exchanges by 2018.
The rise of exchanges means it’s no longer just a question of choosing between the same handful of plans an employer has offered for years. Individuals have more responsibility for choosing—and paying for—health coverage. There are more options to choose from, more transparency around those options, and lower barriers to switching among them. In such a fluid environment, nobody’s legacy position is secure.
The market for health insurance is starting to look a lot more like the competitive retail markets in other industries, and consumers are demanding value. They want lower premiums and more attractive provider networks.