With the number of employers offering health insurance to their workers declining, the group health insurance market is shrinking. Meanwhile, the individual market has exploded to $115 billion a year. This is according to Norvax, an online health insurance technology company.
Norvax recently completed an analysis of nearly half a million people who have requested a health insurance quote or to be contacted about health insurance. What they found is that while there is a growing number of people looking for insurance online, only about 5-10 percent are really confident enough to complete the purchase online. The remaining 90-plus percent want guidance and are turning to insurance agents and brokers for advice and guidance.
To answer the needs of consumers seeking easy access to individual health insurance, Norvax launched an online shopping site, GoHealthInsurance.com, which offers side-by-side plan comparisons from more than 70 carriers, plus live access to a network of more than 10,000 experienced agents who can assist customers in finding the insurance plan best suited for their individual needs.
To date the typical online insurance shopper using the Norvax site is a single woman from the south who is in her twenties and who does not currently have health insurance.
Insurance agents are also seeing value in web-based marketing because they are able to get a better picture of who the customer is and how they prefer to look for and receive information making it easier for them to tailor the way they interact with their customers.
Health Plan Innovation Take: Norvax is an innovator in the way health insurance is being marketed in the US. The health insurance market is rapidly becoming an individual market and individuals are going to use the internet to find the plan that best meets their needs and their budget.
Health care proposals discussed by both of the presidential candidates and by many state legislatures would give further impetus to individuals shopping for health insurance on their own. This hybrid model of combining an on line shopping experience with the guidance of an experienced broker promises to be a key element in helping people make the transition from group to individual health coverage.
Now all we need to do is figure out a way to convince the young “invincible” males in the population that they need to have health insurance, too.