Year of Publication



Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Teresa Waters

Committee Member

Dr. Joe Benitez

Committee Member

Dr. Keith Knapp


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made health insurance more accessible but that does not mean that individuals understand their health insurance or are more confident in using it. The knowledge and confidence that individuals have in health insurance impact their health insurance literacy. Health insurance literacy (HIL) is defined as the ability and capacity to seek, obtain, understand, and potentially use health insurance information and plans.

This capstone study assesses how having HIL, which includes having a knowledge of health insurance terms and confidence in utilizing health insurance services, is related to having health insurance and having a usual source of care. To assess the relationship, I conducted a secondary analysis of Health Reform Monitoring Survey data from 2014 -2016 (n=22,810) where multiple logistic regressions were performed.

The results of this study found that over half of the study population had high knowledge of insurance terms (54%) or high confidence in utilizing insurance services (58%). Less than half (44%) of the insured sample population had knowledge in terms and confidence in use. The results also confirmed there are significant relationships in HIL and health insurance status and HIL and having a usual source of care.

While 90% of the current population is insured, less than half have knowledge of health insurance terms and have confidence in use. The ACA was created to close the coverage gaps in health insurance, but additional policies and programs are needed to improve health insurance literacy in the insured and uninsured population.

Available for download on Saturday, April 30, 2022

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