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High-deductible health plans and the new risks of consumer-driven health insurance products

High-deductible health plans and the new risks of consumer-driven health insurance products

Pediatrics 119(3): 622-626

Consumer-driven health care is the most noteworthy development in health insurance since the widespread adoption of health maintenance organizations and preferred provider organizations in the 1980s. The most common consumer-driven health plan is the high-deductible health plan, which is essentially a catastrophic health insurance plan, often linked with tax-advantaged spending accounts, with very high deductibles, fewer benefits, and higher cost-sharing than conventional health maintenance organization or preferred provider organization plans. The financial risks are significant under high-deductible health plans, especially for low- to moderate-income families and for families whose children have special health care needs. Of concern for pediatricians are the potential quality risks that are predictable in high-deductible health plans, in which families are likely to delay or avoid seeking care, especially preventive care (if it is not exempted from the deductible), when they are faced with paying for care before the deductible is met. This policy statement provides background information on the most common consumer-driven health plan model, discusses the implications for pediatricians and families, and offers recommendations pertaining to health plan product design, education, practice administration, and research.

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Accession: 012979025

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17332218

DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-3687

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