The folks at Harvard really, really hate cost sharing (i.e., deductibles, coinsurance and co-pays) in health care. They are much less concerned about high premiums or taxes. At least that is the conclusion one might draw from a new article in Health Affairs.
The authors examined the fate of 393 families enrolled in high-deductible plans through Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Connector. The families were well off enough to be unsubsidized and enrolled in a Harvard Pilgrim health plan. These were compared to similar families in plans with no deductible. They were looking for –
…respondents’ reports of any financial burden, higher-than-expected out-of-pocket costs, or discussions of costs with doctors. To measure financial burden, we asked enrollees whether, in the prior twelve months in the Connector plan, they or a family member had had problems paying or had been unable to pay medical bills; had had to set up a payment plan with a hospital or doctor’s office; or had had trouble paying for other basic needs such as food, heat, and rent because of medical costs. An affirmative answer to any of these three questions was considered an indication of financial burden.
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