What’s America’s health insurance IQ? Hint: It's not good

By BenefitsPro

By Kathryn Mayer

How well do most Americans do on a health insurance knowledge test?

Not very.

That’s the finding from LIMRA, which asked more than 2,000 Americans a series of 10 true/false questions to gauge their understanding and basic knowledge of health insurance.

Nearly eight in 10 consumers failed the test — answering five or fewer questions correctly. Just one in 10 consumers correctly answered at least seven questions.

The uninsured fared the worst — on average, they answered fewer than three in 10 questions correctly — but still the insured didn’t know much more.

Consumers who are younger, less affluent, less educated and unemployed also, on average, did poorly.

For the most part, however, consumers are knowledgeable about what health insurance is and how to access care, though many showed a tremendous lack of knowledge about plan features, how various types of plans work and the costs involved.

LIMRA said the survey showcases the important need for brokers and agents.

“Consumers need help determining what types of coverage are available and what they should buy to best meet their need,” Anita Potter, assistant vice president, LIMRA group insurance research, said in a statement. “Our industry can help by engaging and educating consumers now, so when they ultimately choose their health care insurance, it is done prudently.”

That need for education also is important as the public health exchanges open up in October under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Just 14 percent said they understand how the exchanges will work.

What are consumers looking for in a health insurance plan? Cost, unsurprisingly, is the No. 1 criterion for both insured (36 percent) and uninsured consumers (60 percent) when deciding on a plan. But insured consumers are nearly as likely to consider how comprehensive the plan is as they are to consider the cost.

Take the test here.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com