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Beyond the One-Size-Fits-All Health Plan

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Like other one-size-fits-all products, the one-size-fits-all health plan is falling out of favor. In a consumer survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 78 percent of respondents said they "would prefer to customize their insurance by selecting the benefits and features they value, rather than select their plans from a few pre-packaged options." Indeed, 62 percent of those surveyed said the ability to customize in this way, if available, would exert "a strong influence on their choice of a health plan."

The survey also asked people to cite services they'd like to have from their healthcare providers. Seventy-eight percent want "online access to medical records and test results," and nearly as many (76 percent) would like to have e-mail access to their doctors. Sixty-five percent expressed interest in "nurse call lines," and the same number said they'd like access to wellness programs.

Although 68 percent said they'd prefer a doctor "with an orientation toward traditional or conventional medicine," 47 percent said "access to alternative healthcare providers would have a strong influence on their choice of health plan." Along those lines, 20 percent have already used an alternative approach to treatment, and 40 percent said they might do so in the future.