Insurance IQ: Consumers don’t understand basic medical insurance, survey finds


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Most Americans are completely happy with their medical insurance, although many don’t fully understand it.

Greater than 90% of men and 80% of girls like their plans, a recent Forbes Advisor survey finds. Nonetheless, greater than three-quarters of respondents couldn’t discover the word coinsurance, and nearly half incorrectly defined copayment and deductible – and that’s just the start of their confusion concerning the U.S. medical insurance system.

Coinsurance. Only 23% could select the right definition of coinsurance from a variety of decisions, and nearly one-third didn’t even wish to take a guess. Younger people were especially unclear about coinsurance, with 41% saying they didn’t know. Women were twice as likely as men (36% to 18%) to say they didn’t know, but men (24% to 7%) were more more likely to confuse coinsurance with a copayment.

Read more: 5 medical insurance renewal basics to make open enrollment more successful

Copayment. Only barely greater than half of those surveyed accurately identified a medical insurance copayment. Many respondents confused copayments with other medical insurance terms, and 6% didn’t wish to guess. Fewer than half of younger respondents answered the query accurately, while greater than half of other age groups got it right.

Deductible. Almost half couldn’t discover a medical insurance deductible. Younger respondents again were less more likely to discover a deductible in comparison with other age groups, with only 4 in 10 answering accurately. Women picked the right deductible definition more often than men (59% to 45%).

Health Savings Accounts. When asked what they find out about HSAs, participants could select as many responses as they believed applied. Barely greater than 40% accurately answered that an HSA lets them put aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses or that an HSA pays deductibles, coinsurance and copays. Other respondents appeared to confuse HSAs with flexible spending accounts.

Children on parents’ health plans. Many respondents didn’t fully understand how long they’ll keep children on health plans. Almost one-quarter incorrectly thought that the kid still needed to live at home to stay on a parent’s medical insurance until they turn 26.

Special enrollment. Nearly 30% incorrectly believed that not liking a current insurance plan or getting diagnosed with a latest medical condition would make someone eligible to vary medical insurance at any time. Gaining weight and buying a house mistakenly were chosen as qualifying open enrollment events by 11% of respondents.

Medical bills. No less than 21% of individuals surveyed said they were confused a couple of medical bill they received. Men were more likely than women to say they were confused. Although the No Surprises Act may help individuals who get an unexpected bill due to an out-of-network charge, nearly 20% of Americans are fighting paying other medical bills.

Satisfaction. Although survey respondents often are confused by medical bills and lots of didn’t have a full grasp on medical insurance terminology, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed said they’re completely happy with their health plans.


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