Americans Struggle with Health Insurance Literacy
An annual survey from Policygenius, a leading online insurance marketplace, revealed that Americans remain confused about the ins and outs of their health coverage.
Less than a third of respondents were able to correctly define common health insurance terms like “premium,” “copay,” and “deductible”. Respondents also struggled to answer correctly basic statements about U.S. health care law. For example only 45% of respondents understood that children are able to remain on a parent’s health plan until age 26, and only 25% knew that governmental financial aid exists to purchase individual health plans from the health insurance marketplace.
The survey also found that a lack of understanding about health coverage leads to participants avoiding seeking health care, as one in four responded that they have avoided care because they were unsure what was covered by their plan. It may also affect the COVID-19 pandemic, as more than 8% of respondents avoided COVID-19 testing and treatment because they were uncertain about coverage.
The results of this survey largely mirror the results of last year’s survey, suggesting that health insurance literacy is not improving. Plan fiduciaries may want to consider a campaign to educate participants on the basics of their health plan coverage to encourage use and access to health care.