Developing a Measure of Health Insurance Literacy: Understanding Consumers’ Ability to Choose and Use Insurance
Fulfilling the potential of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act hinges upon consumers’ understanding of health insurance and their options for coverage. This issue brief describes the findings from interviews with health insurance counselors and other stakeholders about problems consumers face in selecting and using health insurance.
Getting past industry jargon and understanding the intricacies of health insurance is no simple matter, and little is known about what consumers understand. Yet it is critical to communicate insurance concepts and benefit language in a way consumers can apply to their own situations. To fill this void, AIR is developing a measure of health insurance literacy—a means to objectively assess what consumers in the private market do and don’t understand as they select health insurance and navigate the benefit structure of their plan.