Starting in October 2013 there was the opportunity for the first time for the general public to enroll in their respective medical insurance marketplace plans and see if they qualify for a tax credit that would offset their premium costs.
The question is did they understand what they bought? A good amount of people that were entering the marketplace might have actually been first time purchasers. So they would not have been familiar with insurance terminology or even what the plans covered.
Below is an excerpt from NJ Spotlight:
But Sanders said the report underscored a larger point.
“There is a need for healthcare literacy and health insurance literacy and probably there’s a responsibility for a lot of different stakeholders to try” to increase that literacy, Sanders said.
He noted that both the federal government and private nonprofits have worked to promote knowledge of health insurance over the past year.
“It’s a challenge, particularly for the folks who haven’t had insurance, to understand these concepts and terms so that they’re not surprised” when they seek to use their insurance, he said.
Insurance brokers, insurance companies and those who help people apply for insurance can also play a role, Sanders suggested. He added that health insurance concepts could be made an important part of the financial literacy curriculum used in some high schools.
Sanders added that even people who pay out-of-pocket costs still gain a significant benefit from having insurance, since insurers negotiate significantly lower bills with providers. People without that bargaining power are subject to higher bills.
Purchasing medical insurance is not like buying a plane ticket where you have a clear understanding of where you are going. Health Insurance is complex. Enter NJAHU and the insurance broker community. For many years we have been around to help you navigate the complexities of the medical insurance market and now we are more important than ever.