Health care reform is designed to bring consumers more health care options, but many are not necessarily prepared to take more control and lack the proper education to make these choices.
Those are the major findings of the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, which reveals that 72 percent of workers have never heard the term “consumer-driven health care,” and that 54 percent of workers do not want more control over their health care because they do not have the time or knowledge to manage these decisions.
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Furthermore, 75 percent of consumer respondents believe their employers should provide education regarding changes to their health care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; however, only 13 percent of employer respondents consider this important to their companies.
“It may be referred to as ‘consumer-driven health care,’ but in actuality, consumers aren’t the ones driving these changes, so it’s no surprise that many feel unprepared,” said Audrey Boone Tillman, executive vice president of Corporate Services at Aflac. “The bottom line is if consumers aren’t educated about the full scope of their options, they risk making costly mistakes without a financial back-up plan.”
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Consumer respondents even find the idea of more health care decisions intimidating, the study found, with 53 percent saying they are worried about properly managing coverage, which could result in fewer protections for their families.
Another 89 percent said they choose the same health care coverage each year but fail to understand their options.