Low health literacy shown to affect an estimated 90 million Americans
“A person goes to the doctor to get a wart removed. The bill is $530. He has a copay of $30, a deductible of $100 and coinsurance of 20%. How much is he on the hook for?”
If you weren’t able to answer this question; join the club. The American Institutes for Research (AIR) asked this question of hundreds of American citizens and found that only one in five was able to answer correctly, with $210.
The AIR and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) compiled its list of frequently searched health related terms of 2015, and as you can see, there is a major focus on terms relating to cost and coverage.
Frequently search terms of 2015
- Allowed amount
- Cost sharing
- Essential Health Benefits
Low health literacy in the United States is a problem, a big one. It is estimated that low health literacy affects an estimated 90 million Americans, costing the US health system about $238 billion dollars a year.
Without access to clearly presented information and tools that support healthy decision making, consumers often have difficulty accessing safe, quality and cost effective health care.
Compared to those with proficient health literacy, adults with low health literacy experience
This translates not only to more cost to the employee but also the employer, as workers experience dissatisfaction with their health plan and spend more time out of the office on sick leave, as they are less likely to seek care.
How can we address health literacy?
Consumers need information and tools at their fingertips that can help them make informed choices while making critical health care decisions. They need the ability to quickly compare medications, procedures and outcomes of their health issues in a way that makes sense. They need information delivered in a form that is not only easy to comprehend, but can also be accessed directly from home or quickly from a mobile device.
Further is already working with employers and their employees to tackle health literacy and winning, with simple to understand materials and the Wallet Doc consumer tools.
Further recognizes that before people can begin to consciously spend their health care dollars, they must first understand their health savings account. From day one, Further arms its account holders with relevant, straightforward and easy to understand learning materials about the capabilities of each account type. Presented in print, video and multimedia, Further makes sure the resources they need to understand their account are presented in the learning style that fits their lifestyle the most.
And once people understand their account, Wallet Doc helps put knowledge and control right in their hands, helping them shop for health care like they shop for anything else, giving them the ability to compare, learn and save. With tools like decision support, telemedicine, pick your price options and cost transparency tools, Wallet Doc is the perfect resource for employers and employees alike who hope to tackle health literacy head on.
See for yourself
Take a look at some of the resources we provide our account holders with to help them better understand their accounts.
Take a tour of Further’s full suite of consumerism tools and see how Further arms account holders with everything they need to take their health care future into their own hands.
Wallet Doc is available to individuals and employer groups directly from the Further Online Member Service Center. To find out how to increase yours or your employees’ health care buying power, contact us at 1-855-363-2583 or email@example.com.