Understand Your Health

October is Health Literacy Awareness Month

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people with limited health literacy skills have a higher association with poor health, more likely to have chronic conditions and are less likely to manage them effectively. The ability to understand, process and obtain health information needed to make health related decisions is known as health literacy.

It’s important to understand how to seek medical attention when needed and schedule certain preventive measures that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Health literacy affects people’s ability to understand and navigate the health care system, share health information with providers and engage in disease management programs.

Low literacy rates have been associated with higher rates of hospitalization and less frequent use of preventive services — both tied to higher health care costs. Health information and services must be understood by all in order to improve the public’s understanding of health care.

EmblemHealth is committed to helping you understand the basics of health insurance, and breakdown complicated information. See the blog weekly for explanations of health terms, educational resources and helpful tips for open enrollment. Understanding insurance benefits and how to use them will help you and your family, stay healthy, get well and live better.

See a related article from Wellthie, “5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Health Plan.”

To learn more about health literacy, see health.gov.