Who values information from a health plan internet-based decision tool and why: A demographic and utilization analysis

Song Chen, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Regina Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate factors associated with utilization of health plan Internet-based decision tools. Data Sources and Study Setting Enrollment, claims, plan design, and web transaction data during 2008 provided by a national health insurer for 253,398 subscribers from 919 employers. Study Design Multivariate models of the effects of demographic, health, employer, and plan benefit design characteristics on the use of the tool and its individual function categories. Data Extraction Methods Subscribers, who were either an individual member or a family, were included if at least one family member had 12 months of coverage in 2008. Members older than 65 and those with multiple insurance carriers were excluded. Principal Findings Higher education, higher income, younger age, female gender, higher co-morbidity risk, prevalence of chronic conditions, Caucasian race, and English as the primary language were positively associated with using the tool. Plan benefit characteristics such as free preventive coverage, higher deductible, moderate coinsurance rate, family coverage, and enrollment in health savings accounts were also associated with higher likelihood of using the tool. Conclusions Insurers provide consumers information on cost efficiency, quality, and wellness through Internet-based decision tools, but more effort is needed to reach certain demographics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-173
Number of pages23
JournalHealth services research
Volume47
Issue number1 PART 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Keywords

  • Consumer engagement
  • Internet-based tools
  • health care information

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