As U.S. health care consumers are faced with changing plan options, costs and technologies, they are increasingly being asked to make more complex decisions. Yet our research finds that many are not well positioned to make these choices.

In order to improve our understanding of the impact of choice in medical plan elections, Towers Watson designed and administered a medical plan simulation survey to more than 5,000 employer-insured Americans. Our survey was uniquely crafted to mimic normal plan designs and costs while providing each respondent with either a) a distinct set of plan designs to choose from or b) the ability to design key components of his or her own health plan, which was dynamically priced in an actuarially cost-neutral manner.

Across the various topics covered by our research (see links below), our overall conclusion is that the optimal choice environment is one in which meaningful choice is coupled with proper decision support for individuals.

Assessing Resistance to Narrow Networks and Plan Gatekeepers

Given the rise of narrow networks, accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, assessing resistance to smaller networks has become all the more important. Read more.

Choice Tendencies

Findings from the 2015 Towers Watson Medical Plan Election Survey help us explore the relationship between health plan choice and factors including age and gender. Read more.

Costs and Benefits of Choice

To gain more insight into health plan consumerism, Towers Watson designed the 2015 Towers Watson Medical Election Survey to simulate choice in health plan elections. Read more.


As we move to greater levels of health care consumerism, it is more important than ever for employers, insurers and communicators to understand consumer preferences. Read more.

The Need for Health Plan Literacy

For health plan communicators, decision makers and consultants, it is crucial to know how well employees understand plan design. Read more.

The Paradox of Decision Support in Health Plan Choice

Because many Americans are limited in their ability to make health plan choices, education and decision support are essential. Read more.

Survey Design

Design consideration for the 2015 Towers Watson Medical Plan Election Survey administered to 5,000 employer-insured Americans between the ages of 21 and 64. Read more.