In the past, intermediaries such as HR specialists and brokers made nearly all health insurance decisions for consumers. With the ACA and the rise of public and private exchanges, there is a dramatic shift underway for purchasing health insurance. As previous uninsured consumers enter the market and as employers send employees to public and private exchanges, consumers will increasingly make their own decisions about which health insurance they purchase. This change in purchasing decisions is estimated to be 71M consumers by 2018, and will most certainly change the distribution of members among carriers.
A recent study conducted by Zipari illustrates the financial impact of this rise of consumerism in health insurance. The result is that consumers will drive over $650B of annual health insurance purchasing decisions by 2018 as shown below in the infographic.