••• health care research

Some ACA users to go without coverage

In a GfK survey, roughly one-third of consumers who purchased insurance on Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges do not expect that their present insurer (33 percent) – or any other carrier (34 percent) – will offer insurance through their ex-change in 2017. And 32 percent do not think they will find options on the exchange that meet their needs.

Among consumers who purchased on the exchanges, 13 percent said they would choose to go without insurance altogether if their current coverage was not offered. Among those who earn less than $25,000 a year, this number jumps to an alarming 34 percent.

About four in 10 (43 percent) exchange users say they would seek new options through the exchanges – with levels highest among 50-to-64-year-olds. Another one-third (35 percent) would go directly to an insurer or agent.

Most of those who do return to the ACA marketplace will not be worrying about brand loyalty; two thirds (66 percent) say they would choose the best option to meet their needs, regardless of the insurance company. Only 12 percent would make a point of staying with their current carrier, while 20 percent say they would explore coverage through a different insurer.

••• travel research

Travel-reward points not so rewarding

A telephone survey conducted by Harris Poll, New York, on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs, shows that while over half of Americans (58 percent) surveyed say that using their credit or debit card to earn travel reward points makes financial sense, few are taking advantage of those perks to save on their hotel and airline costs. The survey found that in their lifetime, 15 percent of Americans have paid for part or all of their trip with rewards points, compared to 14 percent who say they have taken a trip that has resulted in a credit card balance that could not be paid off by their next statement. A total of 12 percent say they have opened a credit card in order to obtain hotel or airline rewards, while 6 percent have selected a more expensive flight or hotel to earn travel rewards points and 6 percent have taken a trip just to maintain or upgrade a rewards level. However, only 7 percent of all Americans used rewards points to pay for any part of their last vacation – with only 1 percent paying for their entire trip using points.