Report Highlights Recent News Coverage Of Health Care Trends

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Summaries of two trends in health insurance appear below.

  • Health savings accounts: An increased number of small businesses have begun to offer high-deductible health plans linked with HSAs "as a way to combat higher health care costs," but "not everyone is singing the accounts' praises," the Annapolis Capital reports. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Commonwealth Fund, employees who enroll in high-deductible health plans linked with HSAs have higher out-of-pocket costs that might prompt them to delay or avoid care. About 4.5 million U.S. residents today are enrolled in high-deductible health plans linked with HSAs, compared with 3.2 million in January 2006, according to America's Health Insurance Plans (Arcieri, Annapolis Capital, 12/13).
  • The underinsured: The cost of health insurance has almost doubled in the past decade, and, as result, "even people with health insurance now have trouble paying for health care," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. According to an ongoing study of 60 communities conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change, about 21.5% of U.S. residents with health insurance had high care costs compared with their annual incomes or reported problems with payment of medical bills. Cathy Schoen, senior vice president of the Commonwealth Fund, said, "There is an undercurrent in the economy of less security even for the insured" (Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/16).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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