FAIR Health Consumer Website Study Shows Top Consumer Searches

The free, award-winning healthcare cost transparency website fairhealthconsumer.org attracts hundreds of thousands of consumers a year. A study of year-end statistics for 2019, released as an infographic, shows what users searched for last year, what types of people are using the site and more. The study also offers a comparison to last year’s statistics for 2018.

Among the honors FAIR Health Consumer has received were six eHealthcare Leadership Awards for 2019. In eight consecutive years as a winner of eHealthcare Leadership Awards, FAIR Health received more such awards in 2019 than ever before in a single year. For the second year in a row, FAIR Health received the Mark Gothberg eHealthcare Organizational Commitment Award, the highest honor of the awards program. FAIR Health also received two awards for Best Overall Internet Site: a silver award for FAIR Health Consumer and a platinum award for the Spanish version of the site, fairhealthconsumidor.org. In addition, FAIR Health Consumidor won a platinum award for Best Site Design. For Best Mobile Website, FAIR Health Consumer won a gold award and FAIR Health Consumidor a platinum award.

Searching for Cost Information
For the second year in a row, users of FAIR Health Consumer made “MRI” the top searched medical term and “root canal” the top searched dental term when using the site’s cost lookup tools. The top five medical terms searched with the medical cost lookup tool in 2019 were:

  1. MRI;
  2. Knee;
  3. Dermatological;
  4. Colonoscopy; and
  5. Physical therapy.

The list was similar to the 2018 list, except that in 2019 “CT scan” dropped from second place out of the top five, while “knee” moved into the top five, into second place, and “dermatological” and “colonoscopy” switched places.

In 2018 and 2019, the top five dental terms searched were the same:

  1. Root canal;
  2. Crown;
  3. Implant;
  4. Orthodontic; and
  5. Cleaning.

Most Frequently Visited Resources
In addition to its cost lookup tools, FAIR Health Consumer has educational materials, including articles, videos and a section of resources with helpful links to outside organizations. The most frequently visited resources were those on costs, state resources, locating providers, insurance appeals and dental.

Gender and Age
In both 2018 and 2019, women outnumbered men among FAIR Health Consumer users. In 2019, 57 percent of users were female, 43 percent male.

As in 2018, adults across the age spectrum used the website in 2019, with the largest age group in both years being individuals aged 25-34. This was the age breakdown in 2019:

  • 18-24: 6.6 percent;
  • 25-34: 27.8 percent;
  • 35-44: 21.4 percent;
  • 45-54: 16.8 percent;
  • 55-64: 14.7 percent; and
  • 65+: 12.7 percent.

Insurance Status
As in 2018, all types of insurance status were represented among FAIR Health Consumer users in 2019, including out of network (31.6 percent), in network (28.5 percent) and uninsured (12.8 percent).

Where Are Our Users?
The top 10 states from which visits to FAIR Health Consumer originated in 2019 were:

  1. New York;
  2. California;
  3. Texas;
  4. Oregon;
  5. Florida;
  6. New Jersey;
  7. Illinois;
  8. Georgia;
  9. Pennsylvania; and
  10. Virginia.

The top eight states were the same as in 2018, but that year Virginia was in 9th place and Ohio in 10th. In both years, all four US census regions (Northeast, South, Midwest and West) were represented.

Who Are Our Users?
FAIR Health Consumer users in 2019 showed signs of varied interests. Their number included value shoppers/bargain hunters, cooking enthusiasts, avid news readers, avid investors, health and fitness buffs, travel buffs and mobile enthusiasts/early technology adopters.

FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd stated: “We are pleased that FAIR Health Consumer continues to be of vital assistance to consumers across the country who are navigating the complexities of the healthcare system. Learning more about the users of our cost lookup tools and educational resources helps us in our ongoing efforts to refine and expand the website.”

For the infographic with the 2019 statistics, click here.