Health insurance terms see rise in interest on web amid recession, health care debate

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The continued increase in unemployment caused by the recession coupled with the recent increase in attention towards health insurance during the ongoing health care reform debate are making health insurance topics among the most searched terms on the internet.

The continued increase in unemployment caused by the recession coupled with the recent increase in attention towards health insurance during the ongoing health care reform debate are making health insurance topics among the most searched terms on the internet.

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, internet tracking firm comScore has found that internet searches for the term "COBRA, " which stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act and allows families who lose their benefits to continue in group health plans, have increased 176 percent from June 2008 to June 2009.

The firm also reported that searches for Medicaid information had nearly doubled, while "Apply for Medicaid " rose by 104 percent and "Health Insurance Quotes " had increased 45 percent. Traffic to various healthcare information sites had also increased as well, while visits to actual health insurance company sites had dropped.

The searching trends likely are related to unemployment rates, which has risen consistently from 4.8 in April 2008 to 9.7 in July 2009, with those who have lost their jobs searching for information to either salvage their insurance benefits or find a new plan.

In addition, President Barack Obama's recent shift in the health care reform debate to specific ideas relating to health insurance and insurers during a recent series of town hall meetings, a decision that has drawn a largely mixed reaction, could lead to additional interest in terms relating to health insurance.

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Posted: August 12, 2009

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