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