Healthcare Policy June 22, 2023

Definition of Health Insurance: Confusion, Obfuscation, Bewilderment

by Barry P Chaiken, MD

The 2023 Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Consumer Experiences with Health Insurance revealed a mixed report on patient views on their health insurance. The survey polled persons covered by employer-sponsored plans (ESI), Medicare, Medicaid, and plans purchased at a marketplace.

Overall, those insured overwhelming rated their plans as very good or excellent, yet 60% reported they had a problem with their health insurance in the past year. The chart below best illustrates this issue.

Source: KFF Survey of Consumer Experience with Health Insurance, Kaiser Family Foundation

Many of these issues are too familiar and cause frustration among consumers. Our health insurance systems must be simplified and more straightforward for most people to navigate. In addition, this complexity raises costs while delivering sub-optimal outcomes.

With our total healthcare bill approaching 20% of GDP, the cost will eventually drive us to revamp the system completely. We need a hybrid model that leverages the benefits of existing models worldwide – UK, Singapore, Canada, and others – while satisfying the unique requirements posed by our current system.

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