Do deductibles work to improve smart spending on health care?

According to a recent NY Times article –the answer is no.

The problem:

  • With high deductible plans, people reduce both high-value and low-value care
  • Many people cannot afford very valuable care due to their deductibles

Link: The Big Problem With High Health Care Deductibles

Here’s an excerpt:

Some health economists say the solution to the problem may be smarter but more complicated forms of health insurance that provide patients with important care free, but charge them for treatments with fewer proven benefits. Mr. Chernew, for one, argues that ordinary deductibles are too “blunt” an instrument, but smarter insurance plans could harness economic incentives to reduce wasteful health spending without discouraging needed care. If such plans held down costs as well as deductibles, they could keep insurance affordable without as many risks. The theory behind such plans is compelling, but given how bad people are at shopping for health care, more empirical evidence is needed to know how well it works in practice.

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3 thoughts on “Do deductibles work to improve smart spending on health care?

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