Studying user interactions with health insurance decision aids
Authors: Dr. Wayne Giang, Dr. Michelle Alvarado, Coralys Colon Morales
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Wayne Giang
College: Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
Two barriers to effective enrollment decisions are low health insurance literacy and lack of knowledge about how to choose a plan. To remedy these issues, digital decision-aids have been used to increase health insurance knowledge and guide the decision process. One example are Virtual Benefits Counselors (VBC) that mimic guidance given by an in-person Human Resources (HR) counselor. The goal of this study is to compare enrollment decisions made using the guided information provided by VBC decision aids and self-directed information provided on HR websites. In an experimental study, participants were asked to make a hypothetical enrollment decision using either the VBC or HR website. The Health Insurance Literacy Measure (HILM) was administered before and after interaction with the system. We also measured participants’ level of comfort with their decision (SURE) and perceptions of system usability (SUS). Post-interaction HILM scores were higher, but differences did not depend on the systems. Participants with higher post-HILM scores were less conflicted about their decision, and this was not dependent on the system used. The VBC users had higher SUS scores. These results suggest that both systems may have benefits, but higher system usability may not necessarily lead to more confident enrollment decisions.
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