With the recent Supreme Court ruling, it appears that HealthCare Reform is here. Regardless of which side of the fence consumers fall on, there is important information that they should understand about HCR in order to make critical choices for their care and coverage. We were interested in finding out how well informed they are now, to see how far we need to go in educating them about their healthcare choices in the coming years. Just under half consider themselves to be slightly knowledgeable, which is about where we’d expect consumers to be at this stage. One quarter considers themselves knowledgeable and a third report that they are not knowledgeable.
Clearly, for HCR to be implemented fully, those who are slightly or not at all knowledgeable will need to be educated. But what about those who consider themselves knowledgeable? Do they really have it down? Turns out, not so much – we asked them 10 true/false statements about HCR. About half of them truly are knowledgeable, and the other half failed the test.
So who are these folks who think they know about HCR but actually don’t? How do they differ from those who think to be – and are – knowledgeable? Primarily 2 things separate these groups: those who profess knowledge they don’t have are younger (by 5 years, on average) and also more likely to take actions to reduce spending on their healthcare services – such as delaying appointments and not (re)filling prescriptions.
We all have a lot to learn about HCR, and it appears that the ones who are in most need of an education may also be the ones who think they don't need it.