Summarized Costs Placement Of Quality Stars And Other Online Displays Can Help Consumers Select High-Value Health Plans
Author: Jessica Greene, Judith H. Hibbard, Rebecca M. Sacks
Starting in 2017, all state and federal health insurance exchanges will present quality data on health plans in addition to cost information. We analyzed variations in the current design of information on state exchanges to identify presentation approaches that encourage consumers to take quality as well as cost into account when selecting a health plan. Using an online sample of 1,025 adults, we randomly assigned participants to view the same comparative information on health plans, displayed in different ways. We found that consumers were much more likely to select a high-value plan when cost information was summarized instead of detailed, when quality stars were displayed adjacent to cost information, when consumers understood that quality stars signified the quality of medical care, and when high-value plans were highlighted with a check mark or blue ribbon. These approaches, which were equally effective for participants with higher and lower numeracy, can inform the development of future displays of plan information in the exchanges.