KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Pentagon Expected To Announce Same-Sex Spouse Benefits Soon; Study Shows People Don’t Understand Insurance

Military officials may give these spouses health care, housing and other benefits by the end of the month, the Associated Press reports.

The Associated Press: Same-Sex Spouses May Get Military Benefits
Same-sex spouses of military members could get health care, housing and other benefits by the end of August under a proposal being considered by the Pentagon. But earlier plans to provide benefits to gay partners who are not married may be reversed. A draft Defense Department memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press says the department instead may provide up to 10 days of leave to military personnel in same-sex relationships so they can travel to states where they can marry legally (Baldor, 8/8).

Meanwhile, The Washington Post looks at insurance literacy.

The Washington Post: Do You Understand Health Insurance? Most People Don’t
A little while back, a health-care economist at Carnegie Mellon University rounded up 202 people who had employer-sponsored health insurance. And, he gave them this quiz: Define four basic health insurance terms. ... And when [George] Loewenstein gave his study participants a hypothetical insurance plan, and asked them to figure out what a four-day hospital visit would cost, 11 percent were able to figure out the price. Just 14 percent were within $1,000 of the right answer. Only 14 percent answered four multiple choice questions about the four most basic insurance features. ... Most Americans don’t have a comprehensive understanding of the types of cost-sharing that are at the heart of most major health insurance plans. And these are people who have health coverage right now, and consider themselves a primary or secondary health-care decision maker in their family (Kliff, 8/8).

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