July 11, 2013

Americans Get ‘F’ in Health Insurance Understanding: LIMRA

Consumers need help understanding features, costs

In a true-or-false quiz posed by LIMRA to more than 2,000 Americans, almost 80% failed. Just 10% got more than seven of the 10 questions correct. No one managed to get 100%. (See if you can here.)

“Overall, Americans expressed a great deal of confusion about how health insurance plans work,” Anita Potter, assistant vice president of LIMRA’s Group Insurance Research, said in a statement. “Not surprisingly, insured Americans had a better understanding of health insurance than those uninsured – but not by a large margin.”

On average, those without insurance got only three questions right, but low scorers also tended to be young, less affluent and less educated. Students and unemployed people also got low scores.

Plan features and costs, and how different plans work, are what’s causing confusion among respondents, LIMRA found. Most respondents know what health insurance is and how to access care.

The Affordable Care Act is also causing confusion. Just 14% said they know how health exchanges will work, and uninsured respondents — those most likely to use exchanges — less than 10% understand how they’ll work.

More than a third of insured respondents said cost was the No. 1 factor in choosing a plan, but LIMRA found they were just as likely to consider how comprehensive the plan is. Among uninsured respondents, 60% said cost would the No. 1 factor in their choice of a plan.

“Our survey confirms that consumers need help determining what types of coverage are available and what they should buy to best meet their need,” noted Potter. “Our industry can help by engaging and educating consumers now — so when they ultimately choose their health care insurance, it is done prudently.”

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Check out Administration Quietly Announces Another Obamacare Delay.

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