A survey conducted near the deadline for the enrollment to the Affordable Care Act revealed that many consumers do not grasp health care concepts as well as they need to. 62% did not realize that an HMO restricts the choice of doctors more than a PPO (preferred provider organization). 42% could not describe what is a deductible and 39% did not understand the relationship between premium and deductible. Given that car insurance has long been a requirement, one may be skeptical, and yet the fact remains that health care is far more complex. Besides if a survey were conducted about people’s familiarity with their car insurance, we may find a corresponding lack of understanding.
While the critics of Obamacare may point to the law’s many provisions as being responsible, we do live in a world that requires a certain sophistication and level of knowledge about things such as computers, cars, cable subscription plans, smart phones and their providers, taxes, and of course now the health care law. The lack of understanding makes some consumers prey to scams and/or it can lead to confusion or overwhelm. In turn these lead to errors and certainly people cannot protect themselves nor safeguard their interest if they cannot make informed choices.
Given that it’s doubtful the society will ease its level of complexity in the foreseeable future, it would seem some means to mediate how many handle that complexity does look necessary.