Twenty-seven percent of Americans without health insurance are actively seeking coverage, according to a new Consumer Technographics® report by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). Why is this statistic important to health insurance companies? Contrary to conventional wisdom, a significant number of the uninsured are potential targets for health plans that sell individual policies. Forrester’s survey of more than 61,000 North American households pinpoints a subset of the uninsured that are likely to be seeking health insurance and makes recommendations to insurance providers for targeting these consumers.

Forrester’s report finds that the uninsured are turning to technology and the Internet at increasing rates. Despite their economic and physical hardships, the uninsured are going online, purchasing online, getting broadband connections, and becoming increasingly comfortable with mobile phones and home PCs at faster rates than the general population. Forty-four percent of uninsured consumers who plan to apply for health insurance in the next year say they will do so online.

“The uninsured are closing the technology ownership gap with the insured. Our findings provide a detailed look at consumers with and without insurance — who they are, where they live, what concerns they have, and what motivates them,” said Brad Holmes, research director at Forrester. “Our analysis reveals a combination of traits that health plan marketers can use to predict whether an uninsured consumer is likely to be actively investigating health insurance options.”

Forrester refers to this group of consumers as “Active Investigators.” They are defined by four characteristics:

  • Financial capability. They will likely have annual household incomes of more than $25,000 but may have recently undergone a decline in their financial status.
  • Active lifestyle. They try to stay fit and are concerned about their health.
  • Risk-averseness. They have an aversion to financial risk and are concerned about their financial future.
  • Technology savvy. Sixty-two percent go online more than once a month. They’re also more likely to incorporate technology into their daily lives than uninsured consumers who are not perusing coverage.

Forrester surveyed 61,086 North American households for the report, “Uninsured Consumers’ Technology Use And Attitudes: Consumer Technographics Data Overview.”

The research mentioned in this press release is available to Forrester WholeView™ clients and can be found through