Briefs and Reports

Grantee Publication: Measuring health insurance literacy in Connecticut – Volume 1


People with private health insurance must have sufficient literacy skills to understand when, where, and how to access health services and avoid costly errors caused by using plan benefits incorrectly. Without adequate health insurance literacy, people can experience administrative hassles, delays in care, denials of coverage, and receive unexpected medical bills. Presently there is no information about the health insurance literacy of Connecticut citizens enrolled in private health insurance plans.

This report presents results from a 2016 survey measuring the health insurance literacy of 516 adult Connecticut residents enrolled in a qualified health plan through Access Health CT. The survey shows that some enrollees struggle to understand basic health insurance terminology and how to use their benefits correctly. People with lower educational levels have lower health insurance literacy skills; however, when we compared to people with the same educational level, we found significant differences by race, ethnicity and language preference with Black and Hispanic enrollees having more difficulty than whites. As more people enroll in private health insurance, widely disparate health insurance literacy should be viewed as a previously underappreciated but remediable source of healthcare disparity.


Health Disparities Institute, April 2017

Read more about the survey on their website