Large Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health Insurance Literacy Signal Need for Targeted Education and Outreach

Brief

Large Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health Insurance Literacy Signal Need for Targeted Education and Outreach

February 10, 2014

Abstract

Overall, health insurance literacy among Americans is low, placing them at a disadvantage when shopping for coverage. Not understanding key terms related to health insurance prevents consumers from making either fully informed choices among alternative health plans or effective use of the plans they select. Gaps in health insurance literacy are of particular concern for both those purchasing coverage through the health insurance Marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and those selecting a plan under the ACAs Medicaid expansion. This brief examines differences in health insurance literacy across three racial/ethnic groups of nonelderly adultswhite non-Hispanic, non-white non-Hispanic, and Hispanicto identify gaps in understanding that may affect take-up of insurance coverage and health plan selection.

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