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 Today’s consumers have more choice than ever when it comes to health care benefits. However, research suggests they are not utilizing those benefits as effectively as they could, in large part due to lack of knowledge and understanding. For third party administrators (TPAs) and benefits brokers, understanding where the gaps exist and providing solutions to address them is key to client satisfaction and business growth.

Health care benefits are complex, and for many employees, hard to fully understand. Endless insurance options, confounding terminology and acronyms, stringent IRS rules, contribution and spending limits, and other factors all contribute to an often perplexing subject. Numerous studies in recent years have found that a serious health care benefits education gap exists in our country.

A 2016 study by Guardian Insurance company found that 80 percent of workers claimed to understand their benefits, but when tested, only 49 percent actually did. Another recent study from C Space Health found that 35 percent of younger consumers have little understanding of the comparative advantages and disadvantages of their health insurance options. What’s more, a 2015 paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research demonstrated that employees generally chose health insurance plans that weren’t cost-effective when considered against their actual medical spending.

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