Health insurance literacy and health service utilization among college students


Objective: Health literacy and health insurance literacy affect healthcare utilization. The purpose of this study was to determine the relation between health insurance knowledge, self-efficacy, and student healthcare utilization in the past year. Participants: A random sample of 1,450 respondents, over the age of 18, attending a public university in the southeastern United States completed a survey in March 2017. Methods: A model was constructed to test the effect of health insurance self-efficacy on the relation between knowledge and healthcare utilization in the past year. Results: Health insurance knowledge (M = 5.8, range 0–10) and self-efficacy (M = 2.48, range 1–4) were low. Self-efficacy was a significant moderator when explaining healthcare utilization in the past year. Conclusions: College students have low knowledge and self-efficacy regarding health insurance. These findings can be used for developing policies and self-efficacy-based health education programs that may increase student healthcare utilization.

Journal of American College Health
Tyler G. James
Doctoral Candidate and Graduate School Fellow

My research interests include the application of quantitative and mixed methods to develop and advance health behavior theory and practice, with specific focus on healthcare access for deaf and hard-of-hearing community.