Online search for insurance coverage spikes

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 24, 2009

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A recent study of popular online search terms offered a glimpse of the impact unemployment rates have had on the number of people looking for health insurance.

Internet tracking firm comSource released a study on Aug. 11 that showed fewer visits to health insurance provider sites compared with the previous year. But it noted an increase in search terms related to finding coverage. The company tracked search terms and visits to various sites in June and compared them with June of last year. More than 67,000 people used the search term "COBRA" in June, representing a 176% increase from the prior year. The use of the search term "apply for Medicaid" also experienced a significant increase of 104%.

The company said sites aimed at people seeking coverage, such as and, experienced gains of 10% and 119%, respectively, from the previous year. Meanwhile, visits to UnitedHealth Group and Cigna's Web sites dropped 29% and 19%, respectively.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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