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Consumer Education Lacking in the Marketplace

April 13, 2016 // News

question-stethescope-medicineA recent study from the Episcopal Health Foundation and the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University concluded a majority of the consumers who purchased health insurance coverage through the marketplace have less understanding of the coverage than their counterparts covered by employer sponsored plans or those covered by Medicaid or Medicare.

The study of consumers in Texas found that approximately 42% of marketplace consumers did not understand all or parts of the term “maximum out-of-pocket expenses.” They also were less likely to know how to use their insurance.

 Why it Matters

Consumers who are uneducated about the terms and conditions of their coverage will put an undue burden on the medical system. They also have the potential to burden themselves with unnecessary costs and leave providers with unpaid medical bills.

The study found that a majority of the consumers in the marketplace did not understand the costs incurred if they visited an out-of-network provider. They also didn’t understand terms such as preventative services or how to use the services to stay as healthy as possible.

The data from this report confirms data published by the National Center for Health Statistics. Statistics from 2015 show slight improvements over data from 2013.

For access to the full report, please visit http://www.episcopalhealth.org/files/4614/5211/2043/Issue_Brief_17_FINAL.pdf

 

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