The private exchanges are expected to explode by decade’s end. In fact, the experts at Accenture expect the market to hit 40 million by 2018, a more than tenfold jump in less than four years.
What those consumers will look like exactly remains in doubt, but Accenture’s latest research sheds at least a little light on it.
One in four new exchange customers, for example, are expected to pick out lower-priced exchange plans than they had with their employers. It’s a trend that speaks to an emerging market of consumers more than willing to make sacrifices when they find themselves shopping for coverage on their own.
This renewed price sensitivity, according to the survey, indicates consumers are happy to give up benefits in the name of saving premium dollars.
Nearly 80 percent of these consumers are willing to embrace a high-deductible health plan in exchange for lower monthly premiums. And even 72 percent will take this deal if it only saves them $20 a month.
Other sacrifices consumers are willing to make, based on Accenture’s data:
- Participating in wellness plans;
- Less network flexibility;
- Fewer services; and
- Higher co-pays.
What this means for agents and carriers, though, is a potentially booming ancillary market. As Accenture’s research shows, all those saved major medical premium dollars could translate into a $4 billion ancillary market by 2018, up from a roughly $100 million market this year.