Solstice Health Literacy Program Supports Health Literacy Month

October 26, 2012 - Plantation, FL

October is Health Literacy Month, and Solstice —a South Florida-based dental, vision and life insurance benefits company—is committed to making its dental health information easily understandable and transparent. From its dental benefit guides to its online tools, consumer-facing health information is presented in a clear, concise way.

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make necessary and appropriate health decisions. Low literacy has been linked to poor health outcomes. In fact:
• Only 12 percent of adults have “proficient” health literacy, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy.
• Approximately nine out of 10 adults may lack the skills needed to manage their health.
• Thirty million people have “below basic” health literacy. These adults were more likely to report their health as poor (42 percent) and are more likely to lack health insurance (28 percent) than adults with proficient health literacy.

“To address health literacy, Solstice created a respectful and approachable program using a universal standards approach, where all members are offered assistance to better understand and use printed, online, and written communications,” said Solstice COO Carlos Ferrera. “We use clear and plain language when speaking to members, as well as in written materials. And, we offer online tools designed for ease-of-use including Healthy Tip guides and comprehensive FAQ libraries.”

Solstice’s program also:
• Tests readability of communication materials using Microsoft Word’s Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and Reading Ease tool. All materials meet the 9th grade reading level as outlined in the ADA Health Literacy in Dentistry Action Plan 2010-2015.
• Encourages question-asking dialogue when a member calls for assistance.
• Employs a “call recap” method, which aids in successful communication with members by recapping the conversation to ensure that information is conveyed clearly and is understood.

“We will continually improve the way we communicate in order to make sure our members clearly understand their dental benefits,” said Ferrera. “Solstice is dedicated to health literacy and we will help in any way we can.”

About Solstice
Solstice is a privately held Florida corporation based in Plantation, FL. Solstice administers and markets dental, vision, pharmaceutical, life, and short- and long-term disability benefits plans. Solstice was named in 2011 and 2012 as one of “Florida’s Best Companies to Work For” by Florida Trend and ranked No. 15 in the insurance industry on Inc. magazine’s 2012 “America’s Fastest Growing Companies” list. For information on Solstice, contact 1.877.760.2247.

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