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In school I learned some of the basics that have really helpedme live my life. Geometry, of course. The periodic table. Theanatomy of a frog (added bonus: I got to dissect it!). The historyof the Spanish-American War. They've helped me in many facets of mylife—or, at the very least, they've helped me win many rounds ofbar trivia, so I guess it's all been worth it.

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Of course, I learned nothing about banking or credit, taxes,general health or insurance, to name a few, and I'm pretty sure noone else did, either.

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A recent survey of 1,008 U.S. adults conducted for the AmericanInstitute of CPAs by Harris Interactive found that more than half(51 percent) could not accurately identify at least one of threecommon health insurance terms: premium, deductible and copay.

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A third (34 percent) thought a premium was an expense at thetime of receiving medical service or a prescription; more than aquarter (27 percent) thought a copay was the cost of obtaininginsurance; and 12 percent did not know a deductible is the moneyone pays before an insurance company makes payments.

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So it seems we desperately could have used some of thateducation in school.

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It's the latest concerning information about our health care(and insurance) system. Premiums and copays are words all of us useon a fairly regular basis. They are things we use our money to payfor. And we don't know what they actually mean. That's upsetting,to say the least.

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This is no isolated survey, either. Results were more grim inanother survey a month ago: A health care economist at CarnegieMellon University rounded up 202 people who had employer-sponsoredhealth insurance and found that just 14 percent could identify whateach of those terms (and one more, co-insurance) meant. And keep inmind: Those are people who have health coverage right now andconsider themselves a primary or secondary health care decisionmaker in their family.

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The same confusion reigns when it comes to Obamacare: Though theflip for open enrollment is now switching, consumers are stilllargely in the dark. And who can blame them? We barely know enoughabout health insurance or health care to understand basic terms,let alone bureaucratic changes.

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Failure of basic health insurance 101—as researchers calledit—is especially relevant (ie., concerning) as millions ofAmericans are about to begin purchasing health insurance coverage,many doing so for the first time. Even without the predictedglitches of the exchanges, we have to assume that many people don'tknow what they're buying.

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And that's leading to a more complicated system and higher costsfor all of us.

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(Brokers: Still think we don't need you?)

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What we need is more education on health care and healthinsurance. In addition to educating us now—which would be quitehelpful—I think some basic knowledge should be taught to us at ayoung age. Health care is something we need to know about ourentire life, and not just for bar trivia.

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