Examining High-Deductible Health Plans

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Study examines high-deductible health plans, use of medical services and looks at distribution of public health care spending.

* "Does Enrollment in a CDHP Stimulate Cost-Effective Utilization?" Medical Care Research and Review: The study -- by Judith H. Hibbard, Jessica Greene and Martin Tusler of the University of Oregon -- finds that people who enroll in consumer-driven health plans generally reduce their use of medical services. The authors write that CDHP members with high deductibles -- who tend to have lower incomes and less education -- seek care less often than members with low deductibles because of cost concerns. The study suggests providing more information to high-deductible health plan members that encourages use of necessary medical services (Hibbard et al., Medical Care Research and Review, August 2008).

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* "The Distribution Of Public Spending For Health Care in The United States, 2002," Health Affairs: According to the Web exclusive by Thomas Selden and Merrile Sing of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, public health care spending is disproportionately distributed to the elderly and those in poor health, and less money goes toward low-income residents. For the study, Selden and Sing analyzed government health care outlays and tax subsidies based on age, race, income, health status and coverage status (Selden/Sing, Health Affairs, 7/29).

* Tutorial on Expanding Health Coverage to the Uninsured/Reference libraries: KaiserEDU.org: KaiserEDU.org recently posted an updated slide tutorial narrated by Diane Rowland, executive vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation and executive director of the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, about health coverage for uninsured U.S. residents. The tutorial examines the characteristics of the uninsured population, the effect of the lack of coverage on access to care and approaches for extending coverage to the uninsured. The Web site also updated its reference library on the uninsured with the latest data on health insurance coverage in the U.S. and various health reform proposals at the national and state levels. The reference library also includes links to analyses of issues and policies involving the uninsured. KaiserEDU.org also updated its reference library on the role of states in health policy. The updated compendium includes new resources on state-level Medicaid, SCHIP and welfare policy; efforts to expand health coverage; and the federal role in state health policy (KaiserEDU.org release, 7/29).

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. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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