Empowering the Consumer as the Ultimate Health Care Stakeholder

July 24, 2015

This briefing, the second in a three-part series on the role of consumers and patients in our health care system, discussed the role of consumers in today’s health care coverage market, exploring questions such as: How is the evolving insurance marketplace affecting the choices consumers have when selecting a health plan, whether through a health insurance exchange, employer, or other mechanism? What information do consumers need to select a plan that is right for them? Are consumers well informed regarding health insurance matters, and do they know how to make use of their coverage once they have it?

Panelist interview videos on the consumer experience.

If you were unable to attend the briefing, here are some key takeaways:
Rebecca Burkholder, vice president of health policy, National Consumers League
According to the National Center for Education Statistics Study, only 12% of individuals had proficient health literacy, said Rebecca Burkholder. Both publicly insured and uninsured adults, as well has those living below the poverty line, had lower health literacy skills, indicating that people who need coverage the most, understand it the least, she added.

Natalie Schneider, vice president of consumer experience, Anthem, Inc.
The retail market will grow to 87 million customers by 2018, Natalie Schneider stated. Recent trends have shown that there is a move towards narrow networks, high deductible health plans, healthcare innovations, and skyrocketing consumer expectations about personalization.

JoAnn Volk, senior research fellow and project director, Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms
The summary of benefits and coverage allows for plan comparisons and greater understanding. However, many consumers have trouble understanding their deductible, including what services they might get prior to the deductible and how the deductible was applied, said JoAnn Volk.

Joel White, president, Council for Affordable Health Coverage and the Clear Choices Campaign
In 2002, 18 percent of total family income was spent on health care; by 2030, if current trends continue, that number will grow to 60 percent, Joel White stated. There is a need for better data, better tools and better markets because data dumping without context leads to confusion, he continued.

Ed Howard of the Alliance for Health Reform will moderate the discussion.

Follow the briefing on Twitter: #ConsumerHealth

Contact: Sarah Dash SarahDash@allhealth.org (202)789-2300

The briefing was supported by Anthem, Inc., in partnership with the National Consumers League.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Rebecca Burkholder Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Natalie Schneider Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
JoAnn Volk Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Joel White Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources