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National Survey Finds Americans Want Choice in Health Insurance

Many opposed to government run health care system



Alexandria, Va., June 23, 2008 – The majority of Americans want choices when it comes to their health insurance options, according to a new national survey by Trusted Choice® and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”).

The study found that more than 56% of the respondents who have health insurance are against or are not sure how they feel about a government operated health care plan. It also found that even those who favor the proposal have concerns about choice in care. About 23% of those in favor of the government plan would no longer support it if it was their only option or provider.

Of all survey participants, more than 85% said it was important to have a choice of insurance companies and the ability to change health plans.

“This national study further demonstrated that Americans want and deserve choices in their health care,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “If some of the proposals in Washington come to fruition, millions of Americans might be faced with limited or no choice in health care because the private sector wouldn’t be able to compete over time.” 

The Big “I” is concerned about how customer relations would be handled by the federal government and cites the IRS and FEMA as examples of troubled agencies with government help lines.

“Should a government operated public plan be implemented, the IIABA is not only concerned about funding and the agent’s role, but how consumers would obtain information, service, and professional advice and guidance,” says Rusbuldt. “Will we have to call a government hotline in Washington to get answers on health plans or coverage?”

The survey was conducted for Trusted Choice® via telephone by International Communications Research (ICR), an independent research company in Media, Pa. Interviews of a nationally representative sample of 928 households were conducted in June 2009. For more information about ICR, go to www.icrsurvey.com.

For more information on the survey results or to request an interview with a national spokesperson or local insurance agent in your area, contact Sue Nester, Big “I” broadcast media director, at (703) 706-5448 or susan.nester@iiaba.net. Print journalists should contact Margarita Tapia, Big “I” director of public affairs, at (703) 706-5473 or margarita.tapia@iiaba.net.

Trusted Choice® educates consumers about the benefits of using independent agents and brokers for their insurance needs: choice of companies, customized policies and advocacy support. Trusted Choice® is the consumer marketing identity for over 10,400 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and 53 leading insurance companies. For more information, go to www.TrustedChoice.com.

Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.

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