A majority of consumers -- 80 percent -- believe insurance exchanges are here to stay, according to “Insurance Exchanges – An Individual’s Perspective,” a survey published by Gen Re.

The Berkshire Hathaway division's report offers information about consumers’ thoughts and perceptions on insurance exchanges, and contains insights from consumers of all ages, from millennials to baby boomers, on their level of knowledge of, and propensity to purchase, insurance through exchanges.

Highlights from the report include:

  • The youngest respondents, 21- to 30-year olds, were the most open to following the better deal on health insurance; asked about their willingness to purchase through an exchange, they were more open to abandoning their employer’s plan if they could find a better price than were the older groups.
  • 50 percent said insurance exchanges likely will expand to offer other products beyond health insurance.
  • 54 percent reported they would start looking for new employment right away if their employer were to stop offering health/medical insurance and didn’t contribute to the cost of purchasing through an exchange.

Purchasing insurance through an exchange comes with challenges, Gen Re said, especially for individuals who need to purchase ancillary benefits; 61 percent of respondents said they will need some assistance in selecting non-health insurance products, such as disability, critical illness and long-term care insurance.
“Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the focus has been on how insurance exchanges would impact the benefits landscape, as well as the insurance industry overall,” said Marcy Updike, VP of market research, in a statement. “However, little has been done to learn what consumers think about purchasing products through an exchange. We set out to crack the code on what individuals understand and what their level of interest is in obtaining insurance products through an exchange.”

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