The plan designs were touted as promoting price shopping and cost discussions with doctors.
A study published in Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine, based on a national poll of 1,637 adults under age 65 who had High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) for at least a year, provides new insight into the behavior of people with a type of insurance that many employers have turned to in an effort to reduce their own healthcare costs.
The CDC reports more than 40 percent of American adults have an HDHP. The plans require individuals to pay at least the first $1,300 of their own costs, and families the first $2,600, often are offered with a tax-protected health savings account to help people stash away money to pay for their future care needs.
The vast majority of the poll’s participants got their HDHPs through an employer, although such plans can also be bought on the Affordable Care Act individual insurance exchanges and directly from insurers. Some policymakers have championed the plans as a way of giving patients “skin in the game” when it comes to their healthcare costs.
58 percent of poll participants said they had an account to put aside money for medical expenses, including HSAs. But only 40 percent of the entire sample had actually saved any money for their future medical costs. Only 25 percent had talked to a healthcare provider about the cost of a service; 14 percent had compared prices for the same service or product, or the quality ratings for different providers. A scant 6 percent had tried to negotiate the price of a healthcare service, either in advance or after they received a bill for a service they’d received.
Read more from the study by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
Source: HealthCare Finance News