Health insurance misunderstandings may lead to bad choices, study

health insurance confusion

Research has revealed that there is a gap between the reality of coverage and the average consumer’s perception.

The findings that have been published by the American Institutes for Research, from a recent study, have revealed the outcome of an evaluation of the confidence level that people have when they are selecting their health insurance coverage when compared to their actual skills and knowledge on the subject.

The open enrollment for buying a health plan is now less than two weeks away and perception may not match reality.

As people prepare to purchase their health insurance policies for next year, researchers from this study are now suggesting that the gap that exists between their perception of their understanding of coverage and the reality could lead them to make choices that won’t meet their needs. According to an American Institutes for Research principal researcher, Kathryn Paez, who also co-authored that study, “There’s a concern that people who don’t have much experience with health insurance don’t protect themselves financially, and then something happens.” She went on to add that the result is that “they’re learning through hard knocks.”

The health insurance survey involved the participation of 828 Americans between 22 and 64 years of age.

health insurance confusionThe survey was meant to produce an understanding of the understanding that the average person has with regards to his or her insurance coverage needs, and the way that various health plans would actually meet those requirements. The research is a component of a larger project that will create a standardized questionnaire that can be used by insurers, health plans, and researchers in order to assess the coverage literacy of any given consumer.

The research determined that while three out of every four (75 percent) Americans feel confident in being able to purchase a health insurance plan and use it, only one in five (20 percent) could actually calculate the amount that they would owe if they were to make a routine visit to see their doctor. Moreover, most of the participants in the survey did not understand some of the terms that are commonly used within the insurance industry, such as “HMO”, “out-of-pocket” costs, and “PPO”, said the research.

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