The Boston Globe, March 25, 2011
The number of Massachusetts residents enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans nearly doubled last year as employers and consumers looked for lower-cost options amid soaring medical prices. A report out today says people in these plans indeed spent significantly less on their medical care, compared with families with more traditional coverage, but they also cut back on preventive healthcare, such as cancer screenings and childhood vaccinations. Surprisingly, they did so even though most of the plans allowed people to get preventive care without paying an up-front deductible. "These plans are reducing costs substantially, but it's not clear that they can maintain quality, and that's the real concern,'' said Amelia Haviland, coauthor of the RAND Corporation study.