Spotlight on Consumers Visiting the FAIR Health Consumer Website

Responses to a new survey, introduced onto the fairhealthconsumer.org website in February, shed light on how consumers use the site. Among the findings: Most visitors (74 percent) come to the site to estimate a medical or dental cost. The rest visit the site to see “what it is about,” learn more about how health insurance works or help choose a health plan—or for other reasons.

Notably, consumers using the site represented all insurance statuses, including:

  • Insured through an employer-sponsored plan (58 percent);
  • Uninsured (13 percent);
  • Insured by government insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid (10 percent); and
  • Insured through a federal or state exchange (6 percent).

Visitors who received a cost estimate from the site intended to use it in different ways, including to:

  • Plan costs for a family member or relative (18 percent);
  • Negotiate prices with a doctor or hospital (18 percent);
  • Decide whether to obtain a service or procedure (17 percent);
  • Plan costs for a new diagnosis (10 percent);
  • Appeal a claim decision from an insurer (10 percent); and
  • Decide whether to go out of network or stay in network for care (9 percent).

Seventy-eight percent of those who received a cost estimate used it in the way they had planned. Most visitors found what they were looking for on the site, and most said that using the site improved their ability to make healthcare decisions and navigate the healthcare system.

Asked to specify the website features they found most useful, 58 percent of survey respondents noted the medical cost estimator and 37 percent the dental cost estimator. Among the other features mentioned were the episode of care cost estimator, educational content, glossary and videos.

Asked how they learned about the site, the largest group of respondents said it was through an online search (39 percent). Among the other paths to the site were through referral from a healthcare provider (15 percent), a friend or family member (12 percent) or a health or dental plan (7 percent), or via social media (3 percent).

FAIR Health analytics give more information about consumer engagement with the site. Consumers are viewing 8.34 pages per session, compared to the industry standard of 2 pages per session. Both females (54 percent) and males (46 percent) are using the site. Visitors span the spectrum of adult age groups:

  • 25-34 (31 percent);
  • 35-44 (23 percent);
  • 45-54 (16 percent);
  • 55-64 (13 percent);
  • 18-24 (10 percent); and
  • 65+ (8 percent).

The top medical terms searched for are MRI, CT scan, colonoscopy, dermatological and physical therapy. The top dental terms searched for are root canal, crown, implant, orthodontic and cleaning.

If you are interested in creating a private-label version of FAIR Health Consumer customized with your own branding and “look and feel,” or in licensing the site’s cost lookup tools or educational curriculum, contact us by email at info@fairhealth.org or call us at 855-301-3247, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm ET.