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Why do I have to reveal my income when buying medical insurance?

August 18, 2015

Some people ask why the online health insurance marketplace requires personal information like household income and number of people in the household just to get a price for medical insurance. It is a legitimate question and appears to be a growing concern among affluent online shoppers. After all, no other consumer product requires this information just to get a price quote! The reason is simple: some lower and middle-income purchasers receive an income tax subsidy for the cost of their health insurance so the exchange quotes the price net of the expected tax subsidy. But If you don’t qualify for the subsidy some online exchanges require this information.

Let’s be clear about the facts: a consumer does not need to reveal income and household information in order to purchase any type of health insurance. These information requirements are built into the online quoting software by the insurance exchange and are not practical or legal requirements of the insurance company.

The simple way to protect your privacy in this situation is to use an insurance exchange that does not require this information. Freedom Benefits’ Members Insurance Exchange is one of the online marketplaces that does not require this personal information. All insurance exchanges, by law, offer the same pricing on specific products, Higher income shoppers can choose the insurance exchange that provides the best service. That’s where private exchanges like this one shine. When you start your online quote, the screen asks for household income and number of people but clearly states that this information is optional. (See th screen shot below). If you already know that your income is above 400% of poverty level then it makes no sense to provide these details. Private exchanges tend to offer enhanced support and optional services that appeal to higher income customers.

I provide consumer support through OnlineAdviser and OnlineNavigator but am not a producer or navigator for this or any other insurance exchange.

Members-insurance-exchange-quote

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