News Headlines Article

Americans Don’t Understand Basic Health Terms, Let Alone Obamacare

Even as millions of Americans gain health insurance coverage, they lack understanding of basic terms that impact their out-of-pocket costs and whether a doctor is even available to them.

A new analysis by Rice University shows one in four adults in Texas “lacked confidence in understanding” the most basic terms related to health costs such as “premium,” “deductible” and “copayment.” Nearly half, or 45%, don’t understand “coinsurance” and 30% don’t understand “provider network.”

The analysis has national implications given the state’s size as well as the nationwide trend of employers to shift more costs onto workers via higher copayments and deductibles–the very cost-sharing strategies people don’t understand. Plans offered under the Affordable Care Act are also shifting costs onto policyholders.