The Psychological Problems of Using Health Care Exchanges

For the first time, many health insurance customers will have dozens of insurance options.

There are ways to save money on prescriptions, even if you're on Medicare.

There are ways to save money on prescriptions, even if you're on Medicare.

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[MORE: The Real Obstacle of Health Exchanges: Consumers ]

In addition, some exchange websites will simplify the process, winnowing down plan options by asking for information on family size, income, and how much a customer is willing to pay.

Still, when patients finally do choose a plan, they will face one more major psychological hurdle, says Hough: paying the bills. People who get health insurance through their employers often never see the money that they use to pay for it; it simply is drawn from their paychecks. In the exchanges, however, many customers will more actively spend their money, which may trigger them to question why they're buying in the first place.

"You don't want them to have to write a check every month. That just brings out, 'I keep paying this health insurance, and I'm not getting anything from it,'" he says. The solution, Hough believes, is simple: auto-debit. "That's why if you're an insurance company, you want it to be a direct deposit, get as close to the payroll deduction as you can possibly get."

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