For the first time, a study has revealed patterns of research and purchasing of Health Savings Account (HSA) insurance and custodial accounts.
In the latest round of research by Information Strategies, Inc., (ISI), a study of 1,700 purchasers and more than 34,000 searches over a 12-month period indicated greater activity on certain days of the week.
At the same time, there are marked differences in the process by which research is conducted and decisions made by gender and age. Income variations were not statistically different.
The Internet played a more significant role (79%) for those choosing an HSA account versus respondents who chose more traditional plans.
Only 10% of respondent indicated they did not consider an HSA but of those who did not choose this type of insurance, fully 55% said they spent little or no time researching their healthcare insurance needs.
More than half (52%) said they consulted at least one agent/broker in choosing a healthcare insurance plan.
While obviously, research and purchases are done every day of the week, proportionally more are done on certain days than others.
Almost one-third (32%) said they did not have healthcare insurance and 6% of all respondents said they opted not to buy healthcare insurance at this time. The two major reasons reported were the prices for coverage and their current health condition.
Just three percent of respondents said they were denied healthcare insurance when they applied.
Among the study's other findings in terms of insurance are:
- More consumers proportionally research for individual and family HSA insurance on Tuesday and Wednesday than any other days.
- Research is higher at night than during the day but more men research during the day than at night. At night, women predominate.
- Purchasing decisions are usually made on the weekend and the actual purchase is accomplished on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday on a proportionally higher basis.
- The average time spent making the decision is less than four hours for a family and less than two hours for an individual on average.
- The final decision is usually done by the woman in a family (74%) and single men are less likely to ask for advice than single women or family members.
- Older couples and individuals (45-60) are more likely to ask for advice than younger individuals.
In choosing a custodial account, respondents reported:
- 11% said they did not expect to open an account.
- 14% said they would only fund an account with little or no funds.
- 24% said they would not touch funds but rely on other accounts to pay medical bills.
- 48% said they thought they would use their accounts to pay all medical bills.
- 62% said they expected to have monies left over at the end of the year.
- Fees and costs were listed as either number one or two in the decision matrix.
- Local institution was the decising factor for 29% of respondents.
More results from the ongoing study will be published in October.