Consumers dread shopping for health insurance

With the Afforable Care Act expanding insurance to more Americans, it’s important to begin understanding your choices now.

According to a Consumers Union report, most consumers dread shopping for health insurance – they find studying the coverage choices very difficult. Consumers indicated they do not want the cheapest plan; they want the plan that represents the best value they could afford and cited terms such as “deductibles,” “co-insurance levels,” and “drug tiers” and the like difficult to understand. The report found that consumers want information sources they can trust, but do not trust health plan documents.

How can someone make an informed decision?

The implications of these findings are profound. Health insurance is a product that is necessary for the health and financial well-being of families, especially for the estimated 1.3 million Michigan citizens who do not currently have health insurance coverage. It is also very expensive, especially for those who purchase on their own.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will help make strides to increase the standardization of health plan choices as well as better, trusted health plan disclosures. Each state, including Michigan, will be establishing a Health Insurance Exchange to assist consumers compare health plan data. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Michigan is currently studying options for its Health Insurance Exchange.

If you need health insurance or will by 2014, it’s important to know all of your choices for job-based, public and private coverage. These options have already expanded under the Affordable Care Act, and will continue to grow in 2014 and beyond.

Begin learning by visiting the following webpages:

Michigan State University (MSU) will be providing education about making health insurance decisions, beginning in mid-2013.

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