High Deductible Health Insurance Plans Deter Patients from Getting Medical Help

by Lyju Kuruvilla on  September 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM Health Insurance News
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It makes sense, really, when you think about it. If something is going to cost more, you might take steps to avoid paying for it if it's not incredibly vital at the moment.
 High Deductible Health Insurance Plans Deter Patients from Getting Medical Help
High Deductible Health Insurance Plans Deter Patients from Getting Medical Help

According to a story in Mediapage Today entitled, "High-Deductible Health Insurance Results in Less Care," that's exactly what's happening with many low-income families enrolled in high deductible plans. Regardless of income, one half of families enrolled in high deductible plans have avoided receiving a medical service due to its cost.

These plans are attractive due to their lower monthly premiums, and while proponents of these plans like the fact that they help people avoid getting costly medical procedures that might be unnecessary, the flip side of the coin is that many lower-income people aren't simply avoiding medical procedures, they flat-out can't afford them. In recent studies, it was shown that lower-income families were 300% more likely to skip even recommended medical procedures than higher-income families due to the costs of the procedure. The study also found that lower-income families in high deductible plans are less apt to talk to their doctor about a medical problem.

Will the Affordable Care Act help with this? It's hoped so, by bringing more people into the health insurance pool in order to lessen the costs of insurance. While it's questioned how much this will help skyrocketing medical costs, many see it as a step in the right direction. 

Source: Medindia

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