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Understanding the vocabulary of health insurance helps in selecting and using coverage effectively. eHealthInsurance commissioned a national study to determine public awareness of select health insurance terminology and the specifics of health insurance coverage. Americans admit to a health insurance vocabulary deficit.
Only a fourth (23%) feel they are very sure of what the terminology used in their health insurance policy actually means.
A third are somewhat sure of what the terminology actually means (32%).
One-fourth are not very sure (13%) or have no idea (10%) what the terminology used in their health insurance policy means.
One-fifth report they don’t have health insurance (21%).
The public demonstrates its lack of familiarity with health insurance terminology by not knowing what some of the key abbreviations stand for.
Only one-third of Americans (36%) can volunteer that HMO stands for health maintenance organization.
Only one-fifth (20%) recall that PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization.
Only one out of nine (11%) recalls that HSA stands for Health Savings Account.
When asked how sure they were with some of the specifics of their health insurance policy, most people said they were very sure of the amount of their co-payment (61%), but half or fewer were very sure they knew the amounts of other basic elements of their coverage:
Half said they were very sure of what they paid for their health insurance premiums (50%).
45% were very sure of their annual deductible.
41% were very sure of the level of their plan’s co-insurance.
35% were very sure of their maximum annual out-of-pocket costs.
For each of these items, one-fifth indicated that the questions were not relevant since they did not have health insurance (21%).