Many patients don’t understand their health care benefits

Patients often don’t know where to find information on their benefits or don’t have time to do so

A survey of 1,000 U.S. adults with health care insurance with either a flexible spending account or health savings account showed that while those that use their benefits are generally happy, a lot of them who don’t are not.

The survey by First Dollar, a health care technology company, revealed a gap between those who understand their benefits and those who do no.

Many patients (42%) said that there were too many benefits to keep track of, 37% didn’t know where to find information about their benefits, and 32% said that they did not have time to look into all their benefits.

Of those unsatisfied with their health plan overall, 75% said they struggle to track benefits, 60% said they don’t use all of their benefits, and 48% said they just don’t know what their benefits are.

First Dollar CEO Jason Bornhorst said in a statement, “Most health insurance companies are doing the absolute minimum to educate customers and offer a streamlined solution.”

Members with a negative opinion about their health plan struggle to track their benefits, with three in four detractors strongly or somewhat agreeing that they cannot keep track of their benefits.

When members call their health plan providers to learn more about their plans, they typically ask questions about coverage (51%), bills (39%), out-of-pocket costs (38%), and finding a provider (33%). In other words, they are calling to learn how their benefits work.

In fact, trying to navigate a health plan made most members “feel dumb,” with 24% strongly agreeing and 41% somewhat agreeing.

This article was originally published by sister publication Medical Economics.