12% and 33%.

According to a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, only 12% of adults have a proficient state of healthcare literacy. That’s why goals to eliminate waste in the US healthcare system, help people to be better consumers, and shop for care, need to start with the front door, be easy and intuitive, include skin in the game from the consumer, and promote healthcare literacy.

What’s on the line? The healthcare literate use fewer services–albeit some of this may be due to higher education and income. They’re more likely to know when to ask for a second opinion, and have the confidence (and hopefully help) to do so. Scalable and inexpensive solutions to promote literacy are growing. Quizzify is one company doing just that. The AARP v. EEOC case is increasing urgency to offer better, more loved/effective solutions.

On the financial side, a study showed that “fewer than one-third of young adults possess basic knowledge of interest rates, inflation, and risk diversification.” Put those two literacy-challenged groups together and form an intuitive Venn diagram and the 12% is even bleaker.

With all the programs companies promote to their employees, some of dubious value, healthcare and financial literacy should be universally loved.

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