Healthcare has been a hot topic since the beginning of Obama’s reforms, and especially recently, as the March 31st deadline for the current open enrollment period approaches. Whatever the state of healthcare in the U.S., interest in health insurance is anything but universal. This week’s data snaX demonstrates how interest in healthcare varies across different populations.
The word associated with each state on our map is one that was seen most often in online articles on healthcare by its residents as compared to users in other states. Words like impossible, threatens, and horror betray an especially keen interest in negatively charged articles in the states that bear them. Our map is also littered with more neutral words; in a pocket of Northeastern states that did not challenge the Affordable Care Act, the highest indexing words”“ individual, marketplace, shopping ““ refer to the market for health insurance itself, rather than its implications. A few words on the map point to state specific news topics, like prison in Illinois, and hospital in Georgia.
We matched users researching health insurance plans against our age segments, and found that these shoppers skew older. Users comparing different healthcare plans online were 60% more likely than the average user to fall into the 55-64 age bracket. The old folks must be doing all the shopping, because they have been the first to sign up! It may be need that drives people to shop for health insurance, but it seems like opposition is what causes people to read about it. The users reading healthcare news were 1/3 times more likely to be a registered Republican voter than the average user.