Are patients ready to be consumers? Just one in seven people understand the basic parts of a health insurance plan. Providers rarely know the costs of the services they recommend. Insurers are uniquely positioned to educate and align incentives along the patient-insurer-provider triad, but Dr. Rena Xu, writing in the New Yorker, finds little evidence that that’s happening.
Using a behavioral economics lens, the New York Times ticks through the many hurdles consumers facing in choosing the best health plan for their circumstances.