Importance: Patient-reported financial hardship is an increasing challenge in cancer care delivery. Health insurance literacy and its association with financial hardship in patients with cancer, especially after controlling for financial literacy, have not been well examined. Objective: To examine the prevalence of and factors in the association between health insurance literacy and financial literacy as well as the overall and individual domains of financial hardship and their association with health insurance literacy, both independently and when adjusted for financial literacy, in patients with cancer. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional survey study recruited and enrolled patients from 2 separate ambulatory infusion centers at Mayo Clinic Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. Adult patients aged 18 years or older were enrolled from December 2019 to February 2020 and from August to October 2020 at Mayo Clinic Arizona (n = 299) and from September 2020 through January 2021 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (n = 105). Survey respondents received a $5 gift card. Exposures: Surveys included questions about sociodemographic characteristics, health insurance literacy and financial literacy, financial knowledge, and financial hardship and its domains (material hardship, psychological hardship, and behavioral hardship). Main Outcomes and Measures: Financial hardship was assessed using the COST-FACIT (Comprehensive Score for Financial Toxicity-Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy) measure and National Health Interview Survey questions to capture information about the domains of financial hardship. The Health Insurance Literacy Measure is a validated 21-item measure of a consumer's ability to select and use health insurance. Five questions from the National Financial Capability Study assessed financial literacy. Results: A total of 404 participants were enrolled in the study. Median (IQR) age of the respondents was 63 (54-71) years, and 219 were women (54%), 307 were non-Hispanic White individuals (76%), 153 (38%) had private insurance, and 289 (72%) had solid tumors. Overall financial hardship (denoted by median COST-FACIT score <27 points) was reported by 49% (95% CI, 44%-53%) of the cohort. Prevalence of financial hardship was higher using the National Health Interview Survey questions, with 68% (95% CI, 63%-72%) of respondents reporting at least 1 hardship domain (n = 276). Sixty-six percent (95% CI, 60%-69%) of respondents (n = 265) had a high level of financial literacy. The mean (SD) Health Insurance Literacy Measure score was 64.9 (13.3) points. In multivariable analyses, each 10-point increase in the Health Insurance Literacy Measure score was associated with lower odds of financial hardship (odds ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.68-0.99; P =.04). However, this association was no longer significant after adjusting for financial literacy. Conclusions and Relevance: Results of this study showed that, despite a high level of health insurance literacy and financial literacy, the prevalence of financial hardship was high. Although there were lower odds of financial hardship with increased health insurance literacy, the association was no longer significant when financial literacy was added to the model, suggesting that a high level of financial literacy may help mitigate the adverse outcome of lower health insurance literacy levels in patients with cancer..
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||JAMA Network Open|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
ASJC Scopus subject areas