Consumerism in Health Insurance: Understanding Literacy in Health Insurance Purchasing and Benefit Consumption
AuthorBarbaccio, Lisa R
AdvisorPavlou, Paul A.
Committee memberMudambi, Susan
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/2580
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe growth rate and percent of GDP spend on health care has brought necessary attention to discussions on cost and quality within the health industry. This research posits that in order to tackle issues within these cost and quality-conscious discussions, consumers require increased literacy in the health insurance shopping and utilization processes. Health insurance literacy is relatively new terminology. In regard to consumer literacy measures in purchasing, the findings in Chapter 1 demonstrate that studies on health insurance literacy are inconsistent, with no consensus on which metrics are most appropriate to measure health insurance literacy. While there is a generally agreed upon definition of health insurance literacy, there is currently no standard scale to determine one’s literacy level. Additionally, literacy, in a broader construct, can assist consumers in making better informed choices about how to engage with and manage their health insurance. One particular example of a poor utilization habit is the use of the Emergency Room (ER) for non-emergent conditions. The findings in Chapter 2 demonstrate that educated consumers can be influenced to choose alternative sites for ER care. This research suggests that taking measures to advance health insurance literacy can improve both shopping and utilization behavior and, in turn, positively impact health care costs and efficiencies. The conclusion of this research theorizes on the best approach to influence literacy in health insurance; ultimately furthering the body of research that moves toward a more efficient, effective, and literate health insurance industry.
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