Colleges can boost health insurance literacy with app

FAIR Health's new Consumer Classroom can help students and young adults get knowledge to make more informed decisions.

In a study presented in the American Journal of Managed Care, only 62% of adults looking to enroll in healthcare insurance were able to answer 13 basic questions, and those numbers were lower among Blacks (53%), Hispanic (50%) and Spanish-speaking (45%) individuals.

Health insurance literacy can escape even the most savvy consumers, but for college students navigating through that maze, the terminology and understanding of benefits can be especially daunting.

In a short time – if they’re not already – many of those students will become responsible for their own healthcare and the costs that go with it. There are few resources available to them to understand all of the complexities, but there is a new one from nonprofit FAIR Health that has become available for free to colleges and universities.

FH Consumer Classroom gives higher education institutions a tool to help students gain real-world knowledge of the industry by giving them direct access to app on Apple App Store and Google Play. There, they can find information on health care services, options, plans, financial impacts and even enroll in new coverage, whether university-sponsored or otherwise.

“As pioneers of health insurance literacy, we recognize that the complex world of healthcare and health insurance is anything but intuitive,” said Robin Gelburd, President of FAIR Health. “Young consumers need concrete guidance when they face the daunting task of navigating health insurance for the first time.”

FH Consumer Classroom offers up articles, resources and games that assist young students – and potentially faculty, staff and administrators on campus, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic – in learning about insurance and the quality, affordable options that exist in the marketplace.

The app provides a unique look at typical discussions that might occur between young adults and providers when looking at options for treatments. There are also short videos that present typical health issues, such as asthma, pregnancies or diabetes, and how students can carve the right paths for quality care.

There are also FH’s proprietary Medical and Dental Cost Lookup Tools that can help them see the potential costs of medical and dental procedures. FAIR Health has a database of records that covers all 50 states and includes some 33 million private health care claims and 36 million Medicare claims.

Chris Burt
Chris Burt
Chris is a reporter and associate editor for University Business and District Administration magazines, covering the entirety of higher education and K-12 schools. Prior to coming to LRP, Chris had a distinguished career as a multifaceted editor, designer and reporter for some of the top newspapers and media outlets in the country, including the Palm Beach Post, Sun-Sentinel, Albany Times-Union and The Boston Globe. He is a graduate of Northeastern University.

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