People buying individual health insurance policies generally prefer plans with comprehensive benefits and lower deductibles, even if the premiums are high, a study reported in Health Services Research found. This is especially true of people in poor health, according to the authors.
Researchers found that tax subsidies for purchasing individual health insurance will not have a significant effect on reducing the number of uninsured. Instead, the authors noted that reducing the cost of obtaining and applying for insurance could have a greater impact on the rate of uninsured residents.
The study recommended online resources and other tools for eliminating enrollment barriers that do not involve the price of coverage, a move that could significantly expand individual health insurance coverage (Marquis et al., Health Services Research, December 2007).