Healthcare / Government / Insurance

Why do they see it that way?

To help provide health insurance options for all Americans, a federal agency tasked ANR with exploring why some people make the insurance decisions they do — and the key barriers to getting and staying insured.

A federal agency sought a deeper understanding of insurance decision-making among target Health Insurance Marketplace consumers. When options are available, why do some elect to buy coverage, while others decline?

We found commonalities among the groups — frustration with a complex system and feelings of dread about shopping and paying for health insurance. Those who were uninsured shared a sense of shame about not having coverage. In an unexpected finding, we learned that while many lacked insurance due to cost. Others had clear rationales for remaining uninsured, even when they could afford premiums.

Using our proprietary Discovery Group™ methodology, we conducted focus groups and online bulletin boards with insurance consumers segmented by age and income.

Prior to the in-person groups, older audiences completed a printed workbook of creative and projective exercises designed to stimulate their thinking about health insurance. Younger audiences spent a week journaling and responding to questions digitally. Everyone visited the Health Insurance Marketplace website and reported their practical and emotional responses to using it to shop for and select a policy.

Based on the data, ANR researchers went a step further and developed a set of six distinct health insurance consumer personas — ranging from people who have insurance “at all costs” to those who angrily decline to be insured. Through comprehensive and creative research methods, we helped our client understand the consumer subsets that might use the Health Insurance Marketplace, how to talk to them, and how to improve their experience.


Healthcare / Government / Insurance


Qualitative, UX/UI Testing, Focus Groups, Discovery Groups™, Online Research

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