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HDHPs Pose No Additional Risk to Medically Vulnerable

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, April 19, 2011

The study examined whether the size of the deductible affected inpatient, outpatient, or pharmacy services had an effect. The amount of the high deductible had a significant effect on all service categories for non-vulnerable families, but Haviland said the same was not generally true for the medically vulnerable. She explained that high-risk families reduced prescription drug spending only when deductibles were at least $1,000 per person.

The study was published online by the journal Forum for Health Economics & Policy.

See Also:
HDHPs Associated With 14% Decline in Health Spending


Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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2 comments on "HDHPs Pose No Additional Risk to Medically Vulnerable"


E. Richard Brown (4/19/2011 at 5:19 PM)
Although the journal article is clear that chronically ill subjects in their study had adverse effects of CDHPs, the accompanying Web article by Margaret Dick Tocknell seems to downplay this finding. The journal article clearly states: "High deductible plans also led to reduced spending on high value care for those at high risk. Of particular concern are findings that those at high risk in CDHPs received significantly fewer recommended cancer screening procedure, and diabetic patients in high deductible plans received fewer recommended procedures for diabetics. [In addition] those with chronic conditions in CDHPs, most of whom require drug maintenance, reduced spending on prescription drugs by more than other populations in CDHPs."

Helen Darling (4/19/2011 at 12:01 PM)
Even more important is the fact that this study is based on fairly old data and the trend has been to add more coverages for evidence-based preventive care at 100% before the deductible. If this study were based on data through 2011, I believe it would be even clearer that HDHPs have substantial benefits and members are not disadvantaged when sick.