More than three weeks have passed since the Health Insurance Marketplace opened to the public, and following the initial spike of 2.5 million unique visitors on October 1st, Comscore data indicates that traffic has steadily and dramatically declined ever since. In fact, the number of daily unique visitors has not exceeded 500,000 since October 10th and continues to trend downward.
With the decrease in traffic, however, the number of visitors successfully creating accounts and submitting applications has increased. As visitors discovered early on, a number of technical difficulties, (including the sheer volume of traffic to healthcare.gov) prevented many potential applicants from getting past the first step of the registration process. Of the 5.3 million unique visitors who accessed healthcare.gov during the first week of open enrollment, more than 2 million attempted to register or log in, but only 273,000 reached the final step of the account creation process, and just 126,000 were able to successfully log in afterwards.
In subsequent weeks, though, as traffic declined dramatically, success rates for creating accounts and initiating applications increased significantly. The percentage of visitors to the site who successfully logged in jumped from 2% in Week 1 to 18% in Week 2 to 22% in Week 3, and the percentage of visitors who initiated an application increased by a similar magnitude. Although just 84,000 visitors initiated an application during Week 1 (less than 2% of all unique visitors), 232,000 of the 1.6 million total unique visitors in Week 3 initiated an application. In addition, nearly 40% of these Week 3 applicants completed the process and continued to shop around and compare plans.
Visitors continue to leverage the various tools provided on healthcare.gov to help them shop for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, including chat functionality and a “Quick Answers” section. As consumers become more comfortable with the new Health Insurance Marketplace, though, the percentage of healthcare.gov visitors accessing these specific help content areas has decreased. Of the many informational pages on healthcare.gov, those focusing on savings available to consumers continue to be among the most popular.
It remains to be seen whether the recent trend of increased shopping activity on healthcare.gov will continue in the coming weeks, but understanding these trends can help companies make better decisions about their participation in the new insurance exchanges. Comscore Health Insurance Exchange Measurement, which delivers detailed, aggregated and anonymous online usage metrics for the new Health Insurance Marketplace, can help businesses better understand the market dynamics and devise improved marketing and product development strategies.
As activity on these and related sites evolves, Comscore can provide a wealth of information about the exchanges, including data by local market or state, data regarding insurer sites and health insurance aggregator sites, search data, demographics of the individuals visiting healthcare.gov and the state exchanges, and even insight regarding the most commonly asked questions about the Marketplace among consumers.
To inquire about Comscore Health Insurance Exchange Measurement, please email email@example.com.
Mike Baber contributed to this post.