Friday, November 4, 2011

Take a Stroll Down Health Care Lane

With snow comes thoughts of the upcoming holidays, and walking down shopping streets and malls looking for the ideal gifts. But for UnitedHealthcare and millions of Americans, thoughts are on annual open enrollment season – and selecting the best health benefits for them and their families. But, according to a 2010 study by UnitedHealthcare, Americans spend more time choosing a car than they do selecting health benefits.

In a recent National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) survey, approximately 36 percent of all U.S. adults lack the necessary skills to read and understand basic information to manage their health. The study also revealed that 88 percent of all adults are less than proficient when it comes to understanding complex health care topics.

At UnitedHealthcare, we’re working to change that by arming employers and consumers with resources to help them make informed choices about their health plan options. We’ve found that accessibility to such information leads to better decisions and better health, which ultimately promotes affordability.

So we invite you to take a stroll down Health Care Lane.

Health Care Lane is both an online experience and a “brick-and-mortar” exhibit that bring the interactive website to life. Both versions of Health Care Lane are designed to improve consumer health literacy and help employers experience the many different health care programs they can put in place for their workforce.

As individuals stroll through this highly interactive town – either in person or online, they may visit the “Public Library” to learn about various health insurance terms and what UnitedHealthcare is doing about health literacy; the “Pharmacy” to get more information on managing prescriptions, keeping costs low and understanding the differences between brand-names and generics; the “Fitness Center” to find out more about wellness and preventive programs and healthy lifestyles; the “WiFi CafĂ©” to use online health tools and cost calculators; and the “Town Bank” to learn about financial tools and accounts, such as Health Savings Accounts.

While Health Care Lane is an engaging way to learn about health benefits, it is one of hundreds of Internet sites that provide consumers with good basic health and health benefits information. Or, visit a real library or fitness center or doctor’s office to get more information for better health.

As we near the beginning of the holiday season and the end of benefits open enrollment season – and our pending New Year’s resolutions, we encourage a trip down Health Care Lane or other health information destinations to get more educated and more engaged – so you and your family can live healthier lives.

Health Care Lane arrives in Philadelphia on Tuesday, November 8. For more information, visit We look forward to seeing you there. If you cannot join us in person, please take a stroll down Health Care Lane at

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