A Look Back at a Year of the FAIR Health Consumer Website

At fairhealthconsumer.org, FAIR Health provides consumers with free online healthcare cost lookup tools and insurance information. Who visits the website, and what are they looking for? We decided to do a study of 2018 to find out. Let’s take a look back at the last year on our award-winning website.

How Many Visitors?

Our study of the past year showed that hundreds of thousands of visitors came to FAIR Health Consumer in 2018. The site received millions of page views. Most (85 percent) of our visitors were first-time users. Visitors spent an average of 3 minutes and 42 seconds on the site. This is more time than people usually spend on a website. This may mean that people find the content on the site highly relevant to their needs.

Who Were Those People?

Visitors to FAIR Health Consumer in 2018 came from every part of the country. The number of visitors from certain states grew greatly compared to 2017. For instance, website usage by people living in Oregon grew by over 300 percent. There was also dramatic growth in the number of visitors from Virginia, North Carolina, Utah, Kansas and Texas.

Our visitors ranged in age from 18 to over 65. About 55 percent were 25-44 years old. Just over half (52 percent) were women.

Across the nation, people both with and without health insurance used the site. But there were more people who were uninsured, or who were going out of network, than in 2017.

What Did Visitors Do While on the Site?

In 2018, about half (55 percent) of our visitors used the medical cost lookup tool. The other half used the dental cost lookup tool (45 percent). This was different from the years before 2018, when many more people used the medical than the dental cost lookup tool. In fact, articles about dental costs were the number one place people found out about FAIR Health Consumer.

More people used FAIR Health Consumer’s educational materials in 2018 than in the past. Visitor traffic to the Insurance Basics articles went up by over 350 percent. The articles people most wanted to see were on health coverage, plan costs and types of care.

The top searched medical term on the consumer website was “MRI.” The second and third most-searched terms were “CT scan” and “colonoscopy.” For dental terms, “root canal” was at the top of the most-searched list. It was followed by “crown” and “implant.”

How Did Visitors Get to FAIR Health Consumer?

Nearly 33 percent of visitors came to our consumer site through a search engine (like Google or Bing). About 17 percent found out about FAIR Health Consumer from favorable mentions in traditional media and social media (mostly Facebook). About 65 percent of visitors were on their desktop computer, and about 30 percent were on a mobile device.

What about the Spanish-Language Site?

In September 2018, FAIR Health launched fairhealthconsumidor.org, a newly expanded Spanish-language version of the consumer website. Visitors to FAIR Health Consumidor used the site a little differently from the way visitors used FAIR Health Consumer. For instance, the top searched medical term on the Spanish-language site was “psychotherapy.” That term didn’t come up as one of the top 10 search terms on the English-language site.