The knowledge of the health insurance policy and terminology is a vital factor that can be decisive in the way this insurance is utilized. A study presented in the article “Health Insurance: Do You Know What’s in Your Policy?” by Marsha R Lawrence addresses this problem in terms that establish a connection between the two mentioned factors. The study is an analysis through quantitative research that extends the importance of the knowledge of the health insurance policy. This paper is an analysis of the aforementioned article that measures the study through the tools used and the reliability and validity of the outcome results.
The study design is a community survey that uses quantitative research. The framework that was established is logical positivism which is the process that emphasizes specific concepts and measures specific variables. The dependant value was set to the utilization of the health care insurance services and the independent value is the knowledge of the health insurance policy in general and the terminology in particular.
The threats to the internal validity of the study design could conclude: The effect on the dependent variable is not only by the independent variable, but to other factors, and the existence of variations of an included variable that could be affecting the dependant variable. The threats to the external validity of the study design could conclude The specific features of the sample chosen that cannot provide accurate results for the generalization conclusion, and dependence of the independent variable on other factors which were not included.
Problem statement and study purpose
The problem that the study is addressing is the lack of knowledge of health insurance terminology that can result in ineffective utilization of the health insurance services. This problem is important in general in the sense that the existing opportunities and services are not used to the full extent, and the problem could be examined as managerial problems therefore could have a personal interest in analyzing the possible reasons for such outcomes.
The purpose of the study is to draw a parallel between the lack of knowledge and the way the health insurance services are used and utilized, in a way that possible conclusions could be made toward improving the most dependable factors.
In general, the literature review provided a terminology definition for the terms described in the study and the historical background of the health insurance system in the United States. There are not any connections between the review and the problem that the study addresses. However, the analysis of the works of previous researchers gives an idea of what has been made so far and the missed questions that could be supported by the current study.
Research Question and Hypothesis
The question of the research is apparently addressed in the text of the study and states “Do laypersons know enough about health care policy terminology to understand and utilize their policy effectively? Other questions that could be stated are “What factors play role in measuring the degree of knowledge of the health insurance policy?
The hypothesis that the study is making although not apparently, is that people are NOT taking advantage of the health insurance services due to their lack of knowledge or in other words due to the limited knowledge of the health insurance policy.
As the measures to which the study is conducted were not provided, it is hard to measure the support that was provided, although it is possible to say that the results of the survey will have similar outcome if repeated due to the measures being estimated for the knowledge, concerning a specific sector which is the health insurance policy. The same could not be said about the validity, although the number of the surveys is sufficient, it is hard to measure the real answers in vague options, for example, do not understand and somewhat understand. In general, the survey as a tool is a good selection for quantitative researches, however, it tends to be weak invalidity, but achieving a general picture is possible.
The data collection procedures included two possible ways which proved to be ineffective compared to the number of surveys sent. The second procedures were more effective, although the percentage of the returned surveys was low as well. However the surveys, in general, are a voluntary issue, and the way the procedures are described in the study, they are not giving that impression.” The employees were instructed to fill the survey out and return them in the interoffice mail.”
This could result in a bias as if such instructions are unlikable the results could be affected. The response rate, therefore, could be affected in the case of the present study by 23%, however, it is typical for mail surveys. In addition, despite the ineffectiveness of the first procedures taken to collect the surveys, they give more control over the questions that could have been misunderstood or hard to understand.
As the employed people are mostly insured as the study mentioned, the sample is enough to indicate the general tendencies in the problem addressed. The sample is representative of the target population although there is some bias due to the limitedness to the employers of the educational system. Although the target population is not mentioned it could be assumed that it is educated employers who have medical insurance. The chosen setting can give an impression of the high diversity of the respondents, however, the typical respondent as mentioned by the study is African- American females between the ages of 40 -49.
The extraneous variables in this study could be considered age, and current occupation in a sense that the degree to which the person needs medical treatment could influence his knowledge in the insurance terminology and policy, and at the same time the age and the occupation could have an apparent effect on the frequency of requiring medical treatment.
Analysis and Discussion
The analysis of the data showed general satisfaction with the health insurance policy, although the research questions were not completely answered as the lack of knowledge of some specific insurance terms does not mean that the respondent did not apply for that specific service. The data analysis is lacking details in general; however, it could be understood through the level of data collected.
The findings of the study are valid to an extent in which some issues could be acknowledged, but it is not scientific proof of some tendency of some sort. The limitations are the usage of the quantitative research in the study, and the sample taken for the analysis. The strengths of this study are its usage as a guideline and bringing attention to the mentioned issue.
Lawrence, M. R. (2008). Health Insurance: Do You Know What’s in Your Policy? American Academy of Business, 12 (2), 113-119.
Nielsen, J. (2004). Risks of Quantitative Studies. Web.
Trochim, W. M. (2004). Research Methods Knowledge Base. Web.