NU Online News Service, Sept. 22, 2004, 5:29 p.m. EDT

Many U.S. women need more help with understanding health insurance.[@@]

That’s the conclusion of a survey sponsored by Aetna Inc., Hartford, and the Financial Planning Association, Denver.

When researchers surveyed 1,018 insured women between the ages of 24 and 44 in August, they found that only 19% set aside a budgeted amount for annual health care costs and only half of women with employer-sponsored coverage know how much their employers’ contribute to the plan each month.

Although 65% of the participants said they were knowledgeable about their health insurance plans, only 33% were familiar with terms such as “coinsurance” and 43% said they spend more time on researching vacations than on evaluating health insurance options.

Aetna and the FPA paid for the survey to promote and gather information to guide a new public education campaign, Plan for Your Health. The campaign will give consumers information about health benefits decisions, Aetna says.

Aetna and the FPA will post Plan for Your Health campaign information on the Web at http://www.planforyourhealth.com