RWJF Content Alert--Examining High-Deductible Health Plans

Publication Date: 
February 2, 2012

Those Enrolled in High-Deductible Plans are More Likely to Delay or Forgo Health Care

A new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) initiative finds that families enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are about three to four times more likely to report delayed or forgone care than families enrolled in traditional health plans. The HDHPs in this study had family deductibles ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 per year.

As such plans become increasingly common, surveys have documented that HDHP enrollees are more likely to report unmet health care needs due to cost compared to those enrolled in traditional plans. Until now, little information has been available on how being enrolled in an HDHP influences a family’s use of health care services. Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, these findings are particularly timely, as the state health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act will likely include HDHPs.

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