Most Confusing Aspect of Health Insurance to Consumers

August 15, 2018

A new survey has shocking results about consumer knowledge of health insurance.

When it comes to health insurance, there’s a bit of misinformation and a lack of awareness, according to a new survey.

According to insuranceQuotes.com’s survey of more than 1,000 respondents-a majority (60%) of Americans do not know the Obamacare individual mandate is still in effect and its penalties for dropping coverage are still in effect for 2018.

“The most important finding concerns the misconceptions about Obamacare,” says Jason Hargraves, insurance analyst at insuranceQuotes.com. “It’s a confusing topic to begin with since President Trump and Republican congressman began work to dismantle the program. It’s a confusing time for many who get their health insurance outside of their jobs. Delivering a product that’s easy to understand and addressing the confusion out there is a great start.”

John Sarich, vice president of strategy at VUE Software, a firm that specializes in innovating and automating business processes for the insurance industry, says he’s not surprised by the lack of understanding by the general public about Obamacare. “That has been the source of confusion ever since it was hatched,” he says. "But, people generally know more about health insurance than they do the other varieties of insurance. Behind that awareness is the everyday ‘street level’ education that people get from coworkers, employers, friends, and family. And, the amount of education that the health insurance companies provide.

“If you have a question about Medicare, just talk to a few senior citizens and you’ll get a whole lot of education,” Sarich says. “Those folks know what’s covered from the get-go. And most people actually are insured for health via their employer, Medicare, Medicaid, or individual. The basic question is always, “Is it covered by my insurance?’”

Other knowledge gaps

The survey revealed that 39% of consumers did not know that health insurers are allowed to factor in tobacco use when determining premiums. “We thought the number would be much lower,” says Hargraves.

Insurers can charge tobacco users up to 50% more than those who don’t use tobacco.