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High-Deductible Insurance Coming Your Way

June 8, 2012

Hat Tip to James

This is a huge problem. 

Half of all workers at employer-sponsored health plans — including those working for the government — could be on high-deductible insurance within a decade, according to a new paper from Rand Corp.

Supporters say the plans can contain health costs. Patients who have to pay for care up front will take better care of themselves and shop more carefully, the thinking goes, seeking lower-cost providers or asking whether tests are necessary. High-deductible plans, known as “consumer-driven” insurance, may partly account for a recent slowing in the upward spiral of medical spending, analysts say, although reluctance to buy health services in a poor economy is also a factor.

Critics say high-deductible insurance is just a way for corporations to shift costs onto workers, especially those dealing with chronic illness such as diabetes and arthritis. Further, consumers aren’t prepared to shop for treatment because reliable information on price and quality is difficult, if not impossible, to find. High deductibles, they say, boost chances that patients will delay seeking care until ailments become acute. Still, high-deductible plans, long promoted by Republicans as a way to bring market forces to medicine, are here to stay no matter how the Supreme Court rules on the 2010 health-care law, experts say.

5 Comments
  1. Solly permalink
    June 8, 2012 11:41 PM

    CC, I always have the same reaction when I hear the repugs talk about transparency in pricing and quality ratings. yeah right. I’m going to Meriter because they fix a burst appendix for $12,000 but St. Mary’s is cheaper for a heart attack. Can you pull the ambulance over while I run a spreadsheet? and by the way, my insurance is tied to one or the other, they pay zero if we go to the “wrong” place. HMOs were sold for PREVENTATIVE medicine, but now, it seems like it’s a sin to go to the dr. and people should just ignore the pain until it’s something real big. And who cares if 40 million people have NO insurance except that if they can’t pay their cost gets added to your bill and insurance premium, and if they get forclosed on (medical debt is a major cause of bankruptcy), it affects your property values, etc but first and foremost, for all the blathering about how America is a Christian nation, how about a little concern about our fellow human beings and concern for the least well among us???!! Just like the repug mantra used to be no public election financing, just real time disclosure of contributions. We see where that got us with Citizens United and the Wis-Right-toLife (Lie) lawsuit against disclosure. But I DO support conservatives and repugs eating a lot of Johnsonville brats and Sargento cheese on top, the more the better.

  2. IRV permalink
    June 8, 2012 9:59 PM

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/27/1095159/-The-stunning-truth-about-healthcare-pricing

    The video is about 50 minutes long but worth while.

  3. June 8, 2012 9:48 PM

    Irv,

    Sure—looking forward to reading it.

  4. IRV permalink
    June 8, 2012 9:27 PM

    Am I allowed to post a link from the Daily Kos I saw last week? It’s a California Doctor addressing health costs.

    I’ll await your reply.

  5. CommonCents permalink
    June 8, 2012 4:54 PM

    Yeah! I want to be shopping around for the best buy while I am having a heart attack or stroke. I’m sure that the 1% don’t shop around for their health care.

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