Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans gained health coverage in 2014. Coverage is key to accessing affordable, high-quality care, but consumers who struggle to understand how health insurance works and how to estimate out-of-pocket costs are at risk of going without needed care even if they are covered. This brief outlines identifies what health insurance aspects pose the greatest problems for consumers, which groups need more assistance to enroll and use benefits, and what topics and skills consumer-counseling efforts should focus on.
We promote better, more efficient, and more patient-centered health care. We conduct and apply health policy research to develop improved healthcare services, systems, and structures that improve health and affordability of care. Our health systems innovation work tests and disseminates new models of care and best practices in quality, delivery, and cost-effectiveness. AIR's communication and social marketing work engages targeted audiences to influence behavior and improve health.