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'Dismal' Understanding of Health Plans Among Consumers

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, August 21, 2013

Loewenstein tested his plan on the survey respondents, who he says were somewhat more likely to make lower cost choices, such as going to an urgent care clinic under the simplified plan, and were more able to understand the cost ramifications of that decision under the simplified plan.

Loewenstein says he has asked health insurance executives why coverage is so complicated. He has been told that a lot of the complexity arises from the incentives built into plans to get consumers to do things such as go to an urgent care center for an earache or to shop around for the best price on certain procedures.

The million dollar question of course is: how can consumers take full advantage incentives if they can't make sense of their policies?

Loewenstein has reached out to insurers to pitch his simplified health plan without success. "It seems like a no-brainer to me, but so far insurance companies have a very little appetite for the idea."


Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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1 comments on "'Dismal' Understanding of Health Plans Among Consumers"


Harvey (8/22/2013 at 8:04 AM)
Co-payments is not a complex term. The industry claims it is so confusing due to "incentives". I don't believe that ten years ago there was any more consumer knowledge about health insurance terminology. Carriers always made their offering plans confusing. It is much easier to deny services if you cannot understand what your buying