December 2015: Public Site Health Plan Quote Tools

When analyzing accessibility, we focus on the accessibility of the health insurance quote tool from the public homepage. Our methodology favors firms that offer multiple access points on the public site. The assessment of the quote tool’s interface design is based on how the inputs are organized. We also assess any additional functions that deliver more accurate plan estimate. When examining the results of the quote tools, we evaluate how the firms present the estimated costs, the plan benefits, a summary of the inputs and further steps one can take to enroll in the plan.

This report focuses on the following aspects of each organization’s quote tools:

  • Accessibility
  • Inputs and design
  • Quote results
  • Additional Functions

Overall, firms performed well in this report, with most scoring a B or higher thanks to efficient and user-friendly online quote tools. Most notably, Anthem and BCBS of Illinois received an A+ due in part to the quality of plan details available. Aetna, Blue Shield of California and Healthcare.Gov offer noteworthy quote tools that are intuitive and informative for individuals. The lowest ranking firm (C-) lacks in terms of accessibility of the tool and results screen plan details offered.

The majority of the life insurance quote tools are accessible directly from the public site homepage; only one health plan, however, offers input fields directly on its homepage. Beyond the firms that offer access from the homepage, 30% of the remaining tools are accessible from other public pages and site headers or footers.

Most tools ask similar preliminary questions to determine ZIP code, age, gender and dependent details. 60% of the firms go beyond these questions and provide input fields that help deliver more accurate estimates, such as those that ask about tobacco use and expected medical use. Household size and household income input fields are featured on 60% of the quote tools to determine tax subsidy eligibility and discounts the individual may receive. Three firms provide a plan questionnaire within the quote tool that helps users determine which plans best fit their health needs.

Overall, tools provide straightforward final quote results. Every health plan’s quote displays premiums per month. 30% of the firms offer the most plan details directly on the results screen; other health plans offer the entirety of their plan details on separate individual plan screens, plan comparison screens and downloadable summary of benefits/coverage documents. Every health plan quote tool allows prospects to start the enrollment process online.

Among the coverage group:

  • 50% offer access from an individual product page
  • 30% include vision plans and 50% include dental plans on the results screen
  • 40% feature multi-device responsive design
  • Only 20% display users’ providers and prescriptions on the results screen
  • 30% offer live chat functions
  • 80% offer filtering and sorting options on results