How do consumers shop exchanges? Insurers learn from test runs

Consumers tended to focus on overall cost when choosing a health insurance plan from an exchange during trial runs held by insurers, and they were willing to forgo wide provider networks in favor of lower premiums and deductibles. People trying out the exchanges spent an average of nine minutes comparing plans, and the majority did not try to find definitions for "deductible" and other key terms, highlighting the need for help in understanding how the plans work, Stonegate Advisors president Marc Pierce said. Consumer Elise Loftis said she would want assistance from an agent.

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