High-Deductible Health Plans, Explained

– High deductible health plans are private health insurance plans that feature a large deductible essentially before yourinsurance kicks in. So, this is similar to auto insurance that most people have. Where you have to pay a certain amount before your insurance will start paying for the rest.

There are now 40% of Americans with private health insurance who were enrolled in a high deductible health plan. So, these plans are becomingincreasingly common. They tend to be less costly for employers, and in some cases forpatients or consumers. And they seek to encourage patients to be more active, judicious, cost conscience healthcare consumers.

One major challenge with highdeductible health plans is people going without healthcare that they desperately need. Research has shown that when people move in to a high deductible health plan they tend to decrease their use of most healthcare services. What that means is people getting fewer low value services that are unlikely.

To improve the health outcomes or could lead tounnecessary harms and cost. Which is a good thing. But also going without thehigher value healthcare services that they need. That's why there are a lot more efforts that are needed to help patients work with their providers when they're in a highdeductible health plan.

To focus on helping patients be able to access and afford the services that are most likely toimprove their health outcomes. Things like saving forcare that people know they're gonna need in the future. Talking to their provider about how much a service is gonna cost them and whether or not it's actually worth the expense.

Using online tools or apps and smartphones to figure out how much services might cost them at different places and then making decisionsbased on that information. Or even in some cases, negotiating what they might pay for a particular service that's not and emergency service, but something that theymay need in the future.

So, we're particularly excited about some of the opportunities that could be used to help more patients in high deductible plansget the care they need at the lowest possible cost.

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