30% of consumers don't know their explanation of benefits isn't a bill

Nearly 1 in 3 healthcare customers feel confused or frustrated after receiving an explanation of benefits from their health insurer, a recent Vitals survey found.

While an EOB contains information on how costs for certain services are split between a consumer and a health insurer, most consumers who called their health plan or physician about an EOB said they didn't understand what their portion of the bill was.

Even when "THIS IS NOT A BILL" is displayed across the top of a mailer, nearly 30 percent of consumers were unsure if their EOB was a medical bill, according to Vitals. 

"Contrary to popular belief, high-deductibles and health savings accounts (HSAs) alone won't create empowered healthcare consumers or functional healthcare marketplaces," said Mitch Rothschild, founder and chairman of Vitals. "Stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem need to innovate, remove friction points and design products and processes that are easy-to-use, convenient and value-priced."

Vitals pointed to a lack of standardization as one of the friction points complicating EOBs, with 1 out of 10 respondents saying they toss their EOBs out like junk mail.

For the full survey, click here.

More articles on payer issues:
Judge: UnitedHealth shareholders can comb 12 years of alleged Medicare fraud records
BCBS parent pledges $1.5B to cut members' costs: 4 things to know
UnitedHealth spent $64B on value-based care in 2017: 4 things to know

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