Money and Medicine While it’s easiest to go where your doctor suggests or to choose a provider based on office location, this approach tends to drive up costs – for both employees and their employers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Navigating today’s health care system is challenging. Tricky acronyms and technical jargon combined with a seemingly endless array of providers and plan options can be a lot to juggle, with low health care literacy costing Americans more than $230 billion per year due to poor decision-making.

Sadly, a large portion of these costs could have been avoided. When employees don’t understand how their plan options differ and how they work, they tend to make poor choices when electing their benefits — or make no choice at all. Many employees roll over the same plan year after year, or choose a plan based on what a family member or friend might have. By not accounting for their budget, their own health care needs or how those needs might have changed in the last year, employees may miss out on more-appropriate coverage choices and may end up paying more out-of-pocket in premiums and care as a result.

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