Window Shopping on and the State-Based Marketplaces

Researchers find support for consumers shopping for insurance on and state exchanges has improved, but more is needed.


The Issue:

The researchers looked at the ‘window shopping’ experience and structure of each website in improving a consumer’s decision-making experience based on their personal needs and preferences.

Key Findings

  • The study simulated a typical shopping experience on each marketplace and identified 25 design aspects for comparison.

  • None of the marketplaces offer consumers a personalized total cost estimate (the sum of premiums and estimated out-of-pocket expenses) or a smart organization of plans according to consumer preferences.

  • Just six marketplaces have a tool that allows consumers to find all participating plans for a given provider.


Progress has been made since the first open enrollment period, but there is still room for improvement in helping consumers make well-informed choices.

About the Grantee:

The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) is the University of Pennsylvania’s center for research, policy analysis, and education on the medical, economic, and social issues that influence how health care is organized, financed, managed, and delivered.

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