By Jeanelle Odum

Health literacy for the health insurance market

Health literacy is defined as the ability to use information to make decisions about healthcare. As healthcare communicators, most of us know that improving literacy begins with using simpler terms and shorter sentences.

But when it comes to health insurance terminology, we’ve got our work cut out for us. A recent survey conducted by PolicyGenius and Radius Global Research, tells us people think they know more than they do.

In fact, the survey showed that 96 percent of Americans thought they knew what the top four health insurance terms meant — deductible, co-pay, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum — but didn’t.

On average, only 36 percent of Millennials, people ages 25-34, correctly defined any terms, and only 47 percent of Baby Boomers, ages 55-64, could.

There are many reasons why this is true. Like anything, we don’t know a whole lot about something we don’t use or buy regularly, like health insurance. But when it’s time to buy, it’s important to help them understand what they are buying.

According to the survey, American’s aren’t so confident in their ability to choose a healthcare plan. And while most are happy with their plan, about half who purchase their own insurance plan to shop around.

With so many people shopping, and comparing, healthcare plans this year, make sure you give your content a good, critical review knowing that people struggle with the language — a lot.

Here are some tips on assessing your health literacy:

  • Are you providing the right information?
  • Are you helping people understand benefits or choose the right plan?
  • Are you adequately explaining terminology?
  • Have you covered the most frequently asked questions from health insurance buyers? The stakes are higher than ever in this new world of healthcare consumerism.

The stakes are higher than ever in this new world of healthcare consumerism. Get ahead, and get help. From WriterGirl.

Do you have tips to share? Tell us what you’re doing this year to help health insurance buyers make the right choice.