Consumers’ Dread Of Shopping For Health Insurance Must Be Tackled, Experts Say
Improving "insurance literacy" will help shoppers make suitable choices and lead to overall improvement of health, experts said at a symposium. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal decodes the QUALY -- Quality-Adjusted Life Year -- metric.
The Connecticut Mirror:
To Improve Health, Raise ‘Insurance Literacy,’ Experts Say
In focus groups, even those with the knowledge to pick the best plan often had little confidence in their choice, worried that health plans contained tricks or traps they didn’t catch, she said. That’s not just a problem for the millions of people trying to renew their health plans or pick new ones. It’s a problem for policymakers trying to improve the health of the population and ensure that the expansion of health care coverage under the federal health law does more than give a lot of people new insurance cards, experts said Tuesday at a symposium on health insurance literacy hosted by the Health Disparities Institute at UConn Health. (Levin Becker, 12/2)
The Wall Street Journal:
What Is A QALY?
The acronym stands for Quality-Adjusted Life Year, a metric that health economists and others use to quantify the health benefits generated by a particular treatment. QALYs (kwah-lees) are often used by state-run health systems in Europe and other countries to help decide which drugs to cover. ... Use of QALYs can be controversial, particularly in the U.S., where some critics say they amount to putting a price on life. Drug makers have been among the metric’s biggest critics. In an October letter to a Boston nonprofit group that studies the value of health care, the Biotechnology Industry Organization said there are “well-documented disadvantages of using QALYs to assess the value of a therapy.” (Whalen, 12/1)