– High deductible health plans are private health insurance plans that feature a large deductible essentially before your insurance kicks in. So, this is similar to auto insurance that most people have. Where you have to pay a certain amount before your insurance will start paying for the rest. There are now 40% of Americans with private health insurance who were enrolled in a high deductible health plan. So, these plans are becoming increasingly common.
They tend to be less costly for employers, and in some cases for patients or consumers. And they seek to encourage patients to be more active, judicious, cost conscience healthcare consumers. One major challenge with high deductible health plans is people going without healthcare that they desperately need. Research has shown that when people move in to a high deductible health plan they tend to decrease their use of most healthcare services. What that means is people getting fewer low value services that are unlikely to improve the health outcomes or could lead to unnecessary harms and cost.
Which is a good thing. But also going without the higher value healthcare services that they need. That’s why there are a lot more efforts that are needed to help patients work with their providers when they’re in a high deductible health plan. To focus on helping patients be able to access and afford the services that are most likely to improve their health outcomes. Things like saving for care that people know they’re gonna need in the future.
Talking to their provider about how much a service is gonna cost them and whether or not it’s actually worth the expense. Using online tools or apps and smartphones to figure out how much services might cost them at different places and then making decisions based on that information.
Or even in some cases, negotiating what they might pay for a particular service that’s not and emergency service, but something that they may need in the future. So, we’re particularly excited about some of the opportunities that could be used to help more patients in high deductible plans get the care they need at the lowest possible cost..