The Affordable Care Act implemented many changes to the national health care system, and one of the most prominent items was the creation of exchanges, which aims to help consumers find the right policy. However, the issues that remain revolve around knowing the actual cost of these policies, as many are not clear.
Many consumers are not happy with the insurance shopping process, as the complexity of some policies – especially regarding co-payments and coinsurance – can be confusing, according to a report from Consumers’ Checkbook. Due to these hurdles, the typical plan selection does not end up being any more accurate than randomly selecting options.
The marketplace that the government runs also does not give accurate and clear options to calculate how much they would have to pay out-of-pocket, as well, the report noted.
“[A] consumer just can’t figure out: is a plan with the $200 deductible and a $10,000 out-of-pocket limit better for me than a plan with a $2,000 deductible and $4,000 out-of-pocket limit – and how about differences in co-pays, coinsurance, etc.?” said Robert Krughoff, president of Checkbook. “Even health insurance experts can’t figure that out. People don’t know how much services cost or their likelihood of needing different services.”
Vaccination levels remain low
While many Americans may be struggling with the type of health care plan they should sign up for, they also may struggle with what type of care they need. According to a report from the Trust for America’s Health, vaccinations are not being taken advantage of, and this can lead many patients to dealing with higher medical bills.
Just 14 percent of adults got the Tdap vaccination in 2012, a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted. Less than 35 percent of women also received the vaccine for human papillomavirus.
“Some of the greatest public health successes of the past century – including the worldwide eradication of smallpox and the virtual elimination of polio, measles and rubella in the United States are because of successful vaccination programs,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH. “We know that vaccines are safe and save lives. Yet millions do not get routine immunizations and tens of thousands die each year as a result.”
Shingles vaccinations remained low for older Americans, as the CDC added that just one in five of those who were 60 or older took advantage of this vaccine.